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Shakespeare is hoping to pen £5k charity cheque

INSPIRED by the Paralympics, the junior vice president of Etwall and Hilton Rotary Club — who himself has cerebral palsy — is tackling a gruelling 87 mile canoe challenge along the waterways of the East Midlands.

Richard Shakespeare hopes to raise £5,000 to be shared between local chari- ties including Me&Dee, the Derbyshire Air Ambulance and Trent Lock Scout Activity Centre.

He said: “I wanted to give something back to the local community as well as challenging some of the perceptions and stereotypes often held about people with disabilities.”

Richard, who runs a successful business as a disability consultant, added: “I have never wanted to let my disability hold me back, I was so taken aback by inspira- tional figures such as Sophia Warner, par- alympian sprinter and others such as Richard Whitehead and Tom Hall- Butcher who have shown courage, deter- mination and sheer hard work to become world class athletes.

“I felt I should do something really demanding and raise money for local charities at the same time.”

The canoe challenge starts at 8am on Friday September 7, from Great Hay- wood, and over the following two days Richard and his support team face 5am starts as they tackle a route taking in Bur- ton, Newton Solney, Willington and Swarkestone — with the finish planned for 2pm on Sunday, September 9 — the final day of the London Paralympics 2012 — at Trent Lock, near Sawley.

A distance of 87 miles was chosen because Etwall and Hilton Rotary Club was formed in 1987 — meaning it cele- brates its 25th anniversary this year. Joining Richard will be Pete Holmes, from Hilton, the principal instructor and a volunteer from Trent Lock Scout Activity Centre — without whose support plan- ning the canoe challenge would not have been possible.

Pete has also liaised with The Old Talbot, in Hilton, which is holding a beer festival over the same weekend and has kindly agreed to donate some of the funds raised over the weekend towards the challenge.

Hilton resident and past president of the Rotary Club, Dr Cham Kang, will also canoe the route with Richard along with one of the club’s newer recruits, Hayat Hulkorey, of Hilton.

Richard said: “Having joined the Rotary in July of last year I can honestly say it has been the one of the most rewarding expe- riences of both my personal and profes- sional life, I recently became junior vice president of the club which means in two years time I will take over as president.”

Anyone who would like to support Richard can visit the website mydo- nate.bt.com/events/rotarychallenge  

Cheques, made payable to The Rotary Club of Etwall and Hilton, can also be sent to John Mackie, treasurer, 17 Sher- man Close, Hilton, Derbys DE65 5HJ.

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