Sainsburys 100mile Kayak

Sainsbury’s Take to the Water for the Ultimate Challenge

A team of senior Sainsbury’s colleagues are taking to the water for charity. The team of 5 are undertaking a gruelling 100 mile kayak over 4 days from Blackwatertown across Lough Neagh to Castlerock on the north coast. The team will be camping at night and will be raising funds and awareness for their store charities.

The trip will incorporate three of Northern Ireland’s unique canoe trails developed by the Countryside Access and Activities Network – Blackwater Canoe Trail, Lough Neagh Canoe Trail and the Lower Bann Canoe Trail.

Alongside the corporate commitment to a range of charitable organisations Sainsbury’s stores throughout Northern Ireland have an individual nominated charity of the year and the kayak challenge is part of the plan to raise money for Sprucefield and Armagh Sainsbury’s stores Charities of the Year.

Andy Relf, Sainsbury’s store manager Armagh explains, “Each year a team of us get together to see what major fundraising activity we can undertake together to raise funds for our local nominated charities. In recent years we have walked from Derry to Newry and cycled right across Northern Ireland. This year we wanted to do something different but which had a similar impact. The Kayak challenge is particularly gruelling as we will be camping out at night as well and we have been training for weeks to get to grips with endurance kayaking.

“The charity my colleague HR manager Jim Taylor and I will be supporting is the Celine Sheridan Trust Fund. Celine Sheridan is a young mother of three from Armagh who is suffering from a brain tumour which is not curable but in some cases is treatable. Celine’s family and friends set up a trust to research and fund treatments available in other countries which may give this young family some hope. Night shift manager John Clarke and Sainsbury’s Sprucefield store manager Richard Heaton are fundraising for the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children while Richard’s daughter Laura Heaton is collecting for Summerteam Aid Romania.”

John Hubbucks from Mobile Team Adventure is the person who is making it all possible for the team by supplying kayaks, training and assistance. He said, “Rarely do we come across a group with no kayaking experience who are willing to take on such an immense challenge. The group from Sainsbury’s have been training really hard for the last couple of months. We have had to prepare for all types of weather and the conditions they may face throughout the four days. We would encourage anyone who can, to support the efforts of the team, by donating to the relevant charities.”

The Sainsbury’s team will be starting on Thursday 23rd September supported by local colleagues and Mobile Team Adventure staff throughout the four days. They hope to arrive at Coney Island in Craigavon by the end of the day. On Friday 24th they will be arriving at Ballyronan Marina/Lough Beg near Cookstown travelling up to Portneal Lodge/Drunagelis near Kilrea on Saturday. The team hope to arrive in Coleraine Marina to complete their challenge on Sunday 26th September.

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