Sport Relief is back with a series of epic challenges building up to the whole nation getting moving and beating a billion steps a day, every day, from 17th-23rd March.
Here in Scotland, comedian, presenter, broadcaster and all-round good guy, Des Clarke is leading the way and taking on the ultimate fundraising challenge as the latest member of Team Sport Relief. This is no normal challenge - Des Clarke is a man who has reached the ripe old age of thirty seven, yet avoided gaining the core life skills of driving, cycling and swimming.
To change his life and help raise money for Sport Relief, Des will take on the challenge of learning all three skills quickly and in the toughest way possible with a series of increasingly daring challenges – what has become known as ‘The big ‘TRY-athlon’ for Sport Relief’
Raring to go, Des will take a 4x4 motor up a hill and this will be followed by a cycle across Glasgow to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Des will then unleash his inner fish and take to the water in New Cumnock open air pool to swim 100 meters, no mean feat with a mortal fear of water.
The second challenge will put Des back behind the wheel as he drives a taxi in Edinburgh, before attaching stabilisers to his mountain bike and heading up the Great Glen Way to Fort Augustus. Once he arrives, bitterly cold Loch Ness awaits for a 200 meter swim, his first in open water.
The final stretch will put Des up against his celebrity pals and some serious driving talent in a Rookie Race, before ditching the bike stabilisers and leading a peloton road race through the borders to Coldstream. For his finale, Des will then swim to England across the River Tweed, where a welcoming committee and a strong cup of tea will await him.
And the best bit? Des’ TRY-athlon will be filmed for an extra-special BBC documentary, ‘The big TRY-athlon for Sport Relief’, airing on BBC One Scotland in March.
Des Clarke said: “I’ve been challenged to a lot of weird and wonderful things on the radio across the years but this is about as big as it can get for me. It’s going to be really tough, especially conquering my lifelong fear of swimming. Hey, what better way to conquer a fear than swimming from one country to another? Jokes aside, I hope I can rise to the occasion and raise some serious money for Sport Relief in the process.”
BBC viewers will be able to see all the action unfold and find out if Des can face his demons in the one-off documentary that will air in March. Des will also be visiting three Sport Relief funded projects along the way to see the valuable difference the generosity of the public makes to change lives across Scotland.
Last time around, for Sport Relief 2016, the generous people across Scotland raised and donated more than £1.7m. This money has been hard at work across the country, with nearly 240 projects funded across the country.
Gareth Hydes, Commissioning Editor for Radio, Music and Events at BBC Scotland, said: “We wish Des the best of luck. It’s going to be a really tough challenge for him and we’re really excited about following his progress with our documentary next month, as well as raising vital funds for Sport Relief.”
Des’ feat is just one in a long list of challenges on the cards for this year’s Sport Relief. For the first time ever, the entire nation has been given a collective mission to beat a billion steps a day, every day from 17th-23rd March, tracking their progress through the brand-new Sport Relief app.
Running, skipping or dog walking all count towards the step total as the nation comes together to raise money and help vulnerable people, across the UK and the world, to live happier, healthier and safer lives.
For more information on how to get involved with this year’s Sport Relief campaign, download the Sport Relief App for free or go to sportrelief.com.
To find out more on Des’ challenge go to sportrelief.com/des
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