Those who know me know I’m always up for a challenge. That’s why on 31 August you’ll find me in a kayak, in the Loch Oich, paddling six kilometres in aid of RSABI.
And while I’ll be surrounded by some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery, the irony is that I’ll just be trying my best not to capsize.
Now in its seventh year, and having raised around £250,000 since its inception in 2012 to help people struggling to cope in Scottish agriculture, this year’s challenge was launched at our Royal Highland Show business breakfast at the end of June.
Established as an exciting one-day team challenge for rural businesses and organisations, teams of four people will compete against each other along designated stages between Fort Augustus and Fort William, covering a continuous 46 km route.
Competitors cycle, kayak, walk and run to a prize-giving reception at Neptune’s staircase at the end of the route.
So why is it important?
At the launch of this year’s competition, RSABI’s Paul Tinson, who co-ordinates the event said: “With continued volatility and uncertainty for farmers across the country, RSABI has experienced a surge in demand for its services in recent times, at an average cost to the charity of £500,000 each year.
“So it is fantastic to witness such strong continuing support for RSABI Great Glen Challenge.”
Ledingham Chalmers has supported this event since it started — we’ve seen it grown from 12 teams to 26 this year — and we’re proud to be the principal sponsors.
Over the years, we’ve fielded teams with hardy volunteers from across our firm, and this year’s no exception.
Inverness-based partner John Smart will tackle the 46km mountain bike route; I’m tasked with the 6km kayak course; Stirling-based solicitor Emily Horn will take on the 18km walk; trainee solicitor Gillian Young, who is coming to work in the Stirling office from Aberdeen for the 2nd year of her traineeship, is doing the 17km run.
From my perspective, I decided the best way to raise money for this fantastic charity was to give it a go myself and try something new into the bargain.
I’ve only been kayaking a couple of times before training started, and once I’m finished I’m going to have a swim in the loch — if I haven’t capsized already — and no doubt a stiff drink!
Training is well underway: John Smart has been putting in the miles in the saddle, Sarah, Emily and I have been on lunchtime walks and I’ve been spending time on the water. Gillian will be pounding the streets and Emily is training for a 15km Tough Mudder the weekend before — so no doubt the GGC will be child’s play in comparison.
And that’s where you come in. We’d love your support — whether it’s on the day, cheering us on, or by donating here.
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