Three-time Olympic rowing champion assembles ‘Paravengers’ to take on Race the Thames for Blesma
Retired British Olympic rower Peter Reed OBE is leading a team of injured veterans and able-bodied civilians as they virtually race the distance of the River Thames (346 km).
Team Paravengers, who met at Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Stanford Hall and have eight functioning legs between them, were called to duty to raise funds for military charity Blesma, The Limbless Veterans and London Youth Rowing as they race over a hundred other virtual crews from around the world.
The team assembled by Peter includes retired British rower Andrew Triggs Hodge OBE as well as amputees Alfie Pope, Stacey Mitchell, quadriplegic Emma Lumb, Alec Harvey and civilians Jeanne Corby and Eeke Hodge.
“Five of us met as patients at Stanford Hall,” said Royal Navy serviceman Pete, who became a patient at the centre in January 2020, after suffering a spinal stroke the previous year, which resulted in him being partially paralysed from the chest down.
“Part of rehab is the camaraderie you form here and the experience that is handed on like the passing of the baton from the more senior patients to the more junior ones that have just become injured. While at Stanford hall, we looked out for each other so when selecting the crew, I thought about who really needed this challenge the most right now.”
Since Monday 22, the team have been grafting on SkiErgs, hand bikes, rowing machines, in wheelchairs and on foot to cover the distance. They are already halfway through the week-long mission, which will terminate on 29 March. So far, over £6,000 has been raised for the two charities.
“Thank you to everybody that has donated so generously. The Paravengers are very grateful. Blesma’s support has been wonderful in helping the fives of us who have served and experience physical trauma through recovery already, and I’ve got to witness first-hand the incredible work London Youth Rowing also do for young people by getting them involved with rowing.
“Also thank you to the crew for their enormous enthusiasm for the project and for pushing out all the miles in the best way that they possibly can. I’m very proud to be part of the crew and the challenge.”
To support Team Paravengers; please visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/TheParavengers