A blind rower from Peterborough will take on a marathon challenge when she starts a 12 hour charity rowathon this weekend.
She only started rowing aged 50 in 2017, and
Kate described the challenge as ‘daft’ but is determined to complete her mission.
She said: “The biggest challenges will be overcoming tiredness and maintaining motivation as the hours go by as I’ve never attempted anything so daft.
"Staying afloat in the last two hours will also be tricky as I will be mentally tired, and the rowing stroke is so technical.
The money raised at the event will be used to help other people get into rowing.Kate said: “Any monies raised would go towards the club’s charitable projects, such as our Adaptive Rowing project, to make rowing more accessible. Also, the club is part of a British Rowing outreach programme to enable a more diverse and inclusive range of participants. The facilities also need to be updated and maintained to cater for a growing membership.”
Kate took up rowing to improve both her mental and physical health.
She started to go blind when she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa when she was a teenager.
The condition - which has no cure - means she gradually started to lose her sight, and now Kate only has some light perception.
She said: “Rowing had been suggested to me 20 years earlier but with family commitments it wasn’t possible. In 2017 I was almost desperate to find a new challenge but knew that walking or cycling were not going to cut the mustard. So, I turned up at the club after I had been in contact via email, and it was never suggested that I couldn’t row, and everyone was friendly and welcoming.
"I was hooked from day one and it might have helped that it was a gorgeous sunny Spring Day and not pouring with rain. After a year of rowing with others we figured out how we could communicate so I could row by myself. “Since then, I’ve enjoyed improving my rowing and being on the water knowing that the relaxing gurgle of the water running under the boat is all my own doing.
"I remember saying for almost two years that the indoor rowing machine was not for me but when Pete, my coach, set me the challenge to row to The Dog in a Doublet and back, some 20km on the River Nene, it was clear I had to train. It isn’t hard training; it just takes time and I feel fitter and have easily lost weight and sometimes struggle to eat enough.
"Since I started rowing, I’ve had very few sad days and met so many new people."
To support Kate in her challenge, please donate and share by following this link:
If you want to know more about Peterborough City Rowing Club or Adaptive Rowing in particular, then visit https://peterboroughcityrowing.co.uk/