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This Easter, whilst you’re tucking into a box of delicious chocolate Eggs, spare a thought for two father/daughter teams who will be taking on the Thames to raise funds for The Poppy Factory in the longest marathon canoe race in the world, the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race.
Veterans of the challenge, friends David Bradley and Steve Vinall first took part in the event in 2008 following David’s medical discharge from the Armed Forces. David had been severely injured in Iraq in 2004 and despite a long period of rehabilitation was discharged four years later, “In order to mark leaving the Army I wanted one last challenge, so my great friend Steve suggested we do the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race”.
Having successfully completed the 125 mile non-stop senior race, the pair declared that they would one day like to repeat the experience with their eldest children in the 4 day Veteran/Junior event. That day has now come and this Easter weekend David and Steve will be joined by their daughters Pip Bradley and Charlotte Vinall.
Heralded as a true test of skill, physical and mental stamina and planning, the race starts in Devizes, Wiltshire, and finishes by Westminster Bridge in London, opposite the Houses of Parliament. It has been held annually over the Easter weekend since 1948.
“Having watched my Dad take part in the senior race I always wanted to see if I was up for the challenge. The training has been hard with some really bad weather but we have got through it so far. I was really inspired seeing the work that The Poppy Factory did finding worthwhile employment for wounded service people and so am really proud to be supporting them.” Pip Bradley.
“As a wounded Servicemen I have made the transition from soldier to civilian and understand how hard this can be. The Poppy Factory does a superb job finding work for the wounded and I am very glad the money we raise will go to such a good cause.” David Bradley.
If you feel inspired by their efforts, please do help them reach their fundraising goal and leave a motivating message.
We wish David, Pip, Steve and Charlotte all the best with this challenge (and the weather!) and will keep you updated with their progress.