07:00PM, Friday 12 June 2020
Windsor’s World Champion rower Oliver Cook will join Olympic, Paralympic and club rowers to represent teams from Oxford and Cambridge in the very first virtual boat race on Saturday.
The MCH.London Virtual boat race will raise funds for the Power2Inspire charity which is committed to making sport more inclusive for all through its events, coaching and education.
Those taking part will be filmed while racing on ergo static rowing machines at home and Oliver is set to take part and inspire others while helping raise money for a good cause.
The race will be broadcast online at Power2Inspire’s Give as You Live page from 3pm. There will be a link for viewers to donate to charity.
Alongside Cook, Rio Paralympic champion Grace Clough, Olympic triple gold medallist Pete Reed, Australian para rower Renae Domaschenz and gold medallist Tom Ransley will race from their homes. Garry Herbert and Martin Cross from the BBC will provide commentary of the event.
Cook, representing Oxford in the race, said: “The opportunity to compete with, and against, such skilled oarspeople, while also raising awareness of the need for more inclusivity in sports was something I couldn’t turn down. This virtual boat race is what we all need in times like these, and I hope the viewers at home enjoy it as much as we will, and if they can, donate to the great cause behind it.”
Event organiser, and founder of Power2Inspire, John Willis was born without fully formed limbs and spent much of his childhood being excluded from sports. He created Power2Inspire with the aim of ensuring his experience was not repeated, and is a longtime rowing fan and advocate of inclusivity in sport.
“I was determined to find a way to make a rowing event with the same philosophy, to encourage people of different abilities to participate together,” he said.
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