4th Dec, 2016

Records smashed in annual Row For It fundraiser for Brain Tumour Charity

Solihull Editorial 6th Jun, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

OARS were in full motion, vital cash raised and British and World Records broken at the annual Row For It event in Touchwood in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity.

More than 70 charity-minded rowers, people who have lost loved ones to brain tumours and people currently fighting their own brain tumour battles, took part in a variety of team and individual challenges with funds being raised through family support and the generosity of passing shoppers in Touchwood.

One of the rowers attempting the world record is Ann Atkins, a volunteer with The Brain Tumour Charity who has organised the annual row for it events since it started.

The event was inspired by Ann’s 14-year old daughter, Iona, who has been living with a rare brain tumour since the age of five.

Ann, who only started indoor rowing three years ago for a charity event, has since gone on to become a champion indoor rower and recently won a gold and silver medal at the British Rowing Indoor Championship, staged at the Olympic Velodrome.

“Row for it 2016 has been a great success,” she said.

“The rowers have amassed over 1.5 million meters and have helped raised over £23,500 for the Brain Tumour Charity.

Gap clothing store are also set to add a further £1,500 to the coffers, taking the amount raised to an amazing £25,000.

“Our original target was £15,000 so we smashed that too.

“Whether it was a world or British record, a personal best or a personal accomplishment, all the rowers rowed with strength, purpose and courage. I am so grateful for all the fantastic support of everyone.”

Various local teams and supporters took part in the three-day fundraiser.

The highlight of the event, however, was the heroic efforts of Ann and five fellow champion rowers – Derrick Towell, Kirsty Pittman, Simon Pitman, Joe White and David Plumb, who set four new British Records and four World records with their marathon 26-hour tandem rowathon which began at 8am on Friday and finished at 10am the following morning.

“Again, this year, there has been a fantastic response to this event. I am overwhelmed that people are willing to challenge themselves in an extraordinary way and help raise money for a fantastic cause. I am extremely grateful for the support, kindness and generosity of others,” said Ann.

Jen Boilestad, Community Fundraiser at the Brain Tumour Charity added: “Over 9,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year and brain tumours are the largest cancer killer of children and adults under 40.

“The Brain Tumour Charity’s mission is to fund and promote research to improve understanding, diagnosis and treatment of brain tumours and ultimately find a cure.”

You can still donate to the cause by visiting: www.justgiving.com/Annie-Atkins.