Mountains high and rivers deep
Saturday sees the second of my ‘Adventures 4 Health’ challenges, organised with the assistance of the Outdoor Industries Association, encouraging the young, overweight or overworked to get outside and find an activity they enjoy.
In May, as you know, 25 friends and I conquered Snowdon in Challenge I. Challenge 2 sees me leading a group canoeing nine miles of the Black Country canal ways from Tipley to Brindley Place in Birmingham.
Along the way we are raising money for some great causes: JK Rowling's Lumos charity, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, The Albion Foundation and SpecialEffect. If you would like to contribute please do here, and if you have already done so, many thanks.
We'll also be highlighting the British Canoeing campaign for fair, shared, open access for canoeists on the waterways of England. The Clear Access, Clear Water Campaign is for cleaner, healthier rivers and greater recognition of the right to access these amazing 'blue' spaces.
Though I’m fitter now than I’ve been for years I still think of myself as an overweight middle-aged bloke, and these physical challenges are daunting. I hope by taking part I’ll show other people who are worried about their weight, or just want to get healthier and more active, how accessible outdoor activities can be.
At the end of it all I’ll be putting together an outdoor activity strategy for the Labour Party which we’ll implement in Government. If you would like to take part in that policy debate you can do so here.
Finally, if you are nearby, it would be great if you could join me and the team to see us over the finish line at - hopefully - 1.30pm on the towpath by the ICC bridge, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2HL.