A world first challenge has been set by five incredible individuals who aim to complete the iconic British challenge of Land’s End to John o’ Groats by kayak as an adaptive team, in a bid to raise money for our nation’s heroes.
Former SAS Who Dares Wins DS, Ollie Ollerton who is also the founder of Battle Ready 360, has donated his time to host a goal setting speaker day and training session to the Kayak 4 Heroes team.
Hoping to raise over £100,000 for several charities, the Kayak 4 Heroes team are made up of individuals with injuries and disabilities and will embark on a 1,400 kilometre journey from Land’s End in Cornwall to John o’ Groats in Scotland. This adventure is scheduled for July 2021 and will see the team tackle some of the toughest waters in the United Kingdom to meet their end goal.
As well as having a goal to raise money for military charity; Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team, the group are also looking to beat the current record held for completing the journey of 35 days.
To make this even more of a challenge, the team must work together to overcome their varying injuries that they received during their time as members of the military. This means it’s incredibly important for them to receive the training, mentoring encouragement they need to push themselves to new limits.
Darren Edwards founder of Kayak 4 Heroes said: “The team and I were incredibly excited to not only meet but to have the opportunity to train with Ollie last week. We are extremely excited that Ollie would like to be involved with the Kayak 4 Heroes expedition and very much look forward to having him as part of the team.”
A journey close to Ollie’s heart
As a member of the Special Boat Service (SBS) and canoes being widely used in his own selection process, this challenge resonates with Ollie on a very personal level.
Due to the demanding nature this challenge will have both physically and mentally on the group, Ollie hopes with his years of motivational speaking and training, that he can build resilience and energy by setting goals for the team and act as a mentor to help them overcome this incredible feat.
“I want to assist these men with their healing journey by helping them to unlock new potentials with their physical and mental health. I think my no-nonsense, yet empathetic approach will contribute greatly towards the mentoring of these brave individuals.”
From pushing through pain tolerances to rewire their attitude towards their disabilities, to forcing them to challenge and push themselves further than ever before, Ollie’s involvement will work towards the teams healing and recovery process.
Inspired by a small selection of ‘lifeline’ kit that the special forces would take when conducting operations in an old ammunition liner, Ollie has donated a key piece of training kit, the Battle Box, to each of team member to ensure training facilities at home.
Moreover, he will also be taking part in a length of course in a bid to show his support for the campaign and motivate the team mid-way through the challenge.
A journey of healing, self-development, and teamwork
After experiencing various break points in his personal life, such as surviving a freak childhood attack, run-ins with the law as a teenager and rebelling against a broken home, Ollie has suffered with anxiety and depression. However, by working with various charities including StrongMen and mentoring the Kayak 4 Heroes team, Ollie is able to benefit from this experience whilst helping others on their own journeys.
“When a team are taking on a challenge such as this, it’s important that they form a close-knit bond in order to succeed. I want to make sure these men share a positive outlook as they face this challenge to better be able to support one another and utilise teamwork as one of their most important skills.”
This will be a highly emotional yet incredibly rewarding experience for all of those involved, and the hard work from the team will help to gain the essential donations that are needed to provide support our nation’s heroes.