It’s amazing what you find out on a 4 hour walk!

Having already been good friends for around three years and agreeing to be part of the challenge straight away. On a 4 hour walk we find out that Syd is in fact a record breaker for crossing the channel in a dragon boat. There’s no records being broke this time we’ll not any for speed :)

Here’s Syd’s heartfelt answers to who, where and why!

What does achievement mean to you?

I spend a lot of time each year helping to raise money for a wide number of charitable organisations. This is through my ‘hobby’ of running a water sports company organising dragon boat regattas Whilst I do help to raise the funds through organising the events my role is managerially and administratively repetitive.
So, whilst I’m allocating a lot of time doing good things for charities the challenge isn’t really there. I work hard in my Directors role at the University of Liverpool and I am a devoted father and husband, consequently (and I’m not complaining here) I find little time for myself.
This opportunity to walk such a historical and beautiful route with friends, and some new friends, is going to be a personal journey. Whilst this walk will be tough it will give me some time to reflect, enjoy the scenery and get back to nature. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
If I was to walk it by myself I’d obtain a lot of satisfaction earned through hard work, but given I’m doing it with others it’ll be a significant lifetime achievement with memories I’ll be able to share with them at a later date.

What do you think is going to be the hardest thing about this challenge?

As someone who has a sedentary job and limited opportunities for exercise these days with three young daughters the physical aspect will be tough. I love the outdoors which will help. Other than that it’ll be lack of internet connectivity and no where to have a gin and tonic…

The hardest challenge will be being away from my wife and young family for the duration of the walk and for the time I need to spend leading up to the walk pounding pavements, tracks and paths to try and get fit for the walk.

Charity nickname is:


Is this your first time doing a challenge like this?

A lot. I was in the first dragon boat team to cross the English Channel to raise money for Guide Dogs for the Blind, I have represented GB racing dragon boats across Europe and at world championships in China and Hong Kong, as well as racing for money in Singapore. I was in the Royal Engineers (TA) for three years and did a lot of outdoor type stuff, though I can’t see us having to build any bridges or roads and we definitely won’t be demolishing anything by blowing it up.

Who are you walking for?

Doing good things, achieving good things and being an inspiration to my daughters.

Why are you doing this charity challenge?

I have chosen SANDS as my wife and I lost our first child, Sophie, to a full term still birth. I’ve chosen Prostate Cancer to raise awareness of the disease; I feel men’s charity’s are behind the curve in terms of profile and men are generally poor at engaging early with health professionals when they show symptoms.
Finally, I have chosen Bowel Cancer as it’s a charity I have never supported before.