Grange School Rows to the Gambia

Up to 1000 pupils, parents, staff and ex-students of Grange School, Hartford, are joining forces on Monday December 16th to row to West Africa.

The Grange School, in Cheshire, has developed a strong rowing tradition over the past 30 years, and is lending both its collective muscle and combined cash to raise funds to build a new classroom block for an elementary school in the Gambian town of Brikama. To do this, the school is aiming to row the whole distance between the two schools – a whopping 4615km – in 15 hours, which will involve occupying 32 indoor rowing machines for the majority of that time.

With sponsorship money raised from those taking part, and donations from others, it is hoped that £1 can be raised for every kilometre rowed. Distances are even being dialled in from former members of the Grange family in places as far flung as Seattle, Sydney and Hong Kong.

Children at the Grange Junior School who are unable to take part on the day have already given the total a head start, by contributing 214km (approx. the distance to Bath) and over £500 to the cause. 

Headmaster Chris Jeffery, who has set himself the challenge of rowing the marathon distance on the day (in stages, he hastens to point out!), visited the Brikama school with a group of students this year, and returns next year with the new group who have organised the challenge. “We found a group of amazingly committed teachers working at the heart of a local community to improve the life chances of some very poor families indeed. Their dedication was inspirational and we want to help them to sustain the work they are doing by providing the infrastructure that they cannot.”

Imi Sherry (18), a Grange rower and member of the school’s Team Gambia 2014 herself, has been a prime mover in promoting and organising the event: “We have so many amazing advantages at this school that we so often take for granted. It’s great to be able to use rowing, which I love, to raise money and awareness for something that matters so much to The Grange and the people of Brikama.”

Anyone wishing to help the cause by donating can do so at: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/rowtothegambia/109150.

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