Shropshire charity founder and athlete, Kelda Wood will row 3000 kilometres solo - from La Gomera to Antigua in the Talisker Whiskey Challenge for her project Row to Raise.
Kelda, a professional sportswoman, suffered a life changing injury to her leg in 2002. Since then, she has gone on to become a member of the GB Paracanoe Squad, just missing out on selection for the Paralympic Games in Rio. She later became the first recorded adaptive woman to summit Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America.
In 2010 Kelda founded the charity Climbing Out, which runs 5-day outdoor activity programmes that use Kelda's life-long passion, sport, to help rebuild confidence and self-esteem in the young people taking part.
Through her project - Row to Raise, Kelda hopes to reach and inspire more young people who, like her, have been affected by significant injury, illness or trauma - including some of those affected by the Manchester bombing last year. Each day that Kelda is on the ocean, she will be rowing for a different individual, sharing their incredible stories and links to the various charities and organisations that provide support.
Commenting on her motivation for the row, Kelda said:
“Through my own experiences, I know how difficult it can be to come through the tough times and beat the odds. Row to Raise is dedicated to helping raise awareness of the challenges that young people across the country face each and every day, and to inspire them to bounce back from hardship.”
Kelda continued: I truly believe that, while serious mental or physical trauma may be life changing, it doesn’t have to be life limiting.”
“Through this challenge, we want to reach the numerous young people who currently feel isolated and alone. My aim is that by rowing the Atlantic we can give hope and inspire them to reach out and access support networks, and that will make every tough day on the ocean completely worthwhile.”