David Stansbury and Sam Barclay undertook the Devizes to Westminster Canoe race, over the Easter Weekend. This is an international Kayak race which attracts many of the world’s best canoe clubs. It is a grueling 125 mile four day event, with three night stops. The boys, both under 18, competed in the junior category and undertook the race on behalf of the Stephanie Marks appeal. David, who lives in Oxshott in Surrey aims to raise £700 from sponsorship. Both are pupils at Marlborough College, Wiltshire.

The boys were determined to help the Appeal. Race preparations have been a major part of the boys’ weekly routine for most of this year. They had their final practice race from Devizes to Newbury in early March. David commented: “When we started training I never really thought we would finish the race, but then I heard about the Stephanie Marks Diabetes Appeal from a friend of Stephanie's sister. Getting sponsored to finish the D-W was a massive boost. Just knowing that we were helping out a really worthwhile charity gave us extra incentive to really push hard and finish the race. Surprisingly, passing under Westminster Bridge wasn't as relieving as I thought it would be, even a massive anti-climax. But as the days passed, the feeling of achievement grew and grew and I knew we had helped a really worthwhile cause.'

Devizes to Westminster, sometimes referred to as "The Canoeist's Everest", is a 125 mile canoe race which has run every Easter since 1948. Starting at Devizes wharf, the route follows the Kennet and Avon canal for 54 miles to Reading, where it joins the Thames. Another 54 miles later it reaches Teddington Lock, ending 17 miles later at Westminster Bridge, after a grand total of 125 miles (201 kilometres).

David and Sam have set up a secure facility to donate on line using credit and credit cards at www.justgiving.com/daveandsam.

Fundraising Manager at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospital, Val Marks, said: “This is a wonderful effort by David and Sam and we are very grateful to David for selecting the Stephanie Marks Appeal as his nominated charity. We are sure to feel the same sense of achievement when the Diabetes Centre is completed.”


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