Kayaking for cancer: London Kayakathon to hit River Thames in bid to raise charity cash

A man is fulfilling a pledge he made to his dying brother this weekend by raising vital charity funds during the London Kayakathon.

Simon Osborne will be picking up his paddle once again in memory of his 13-year-old brother Mark who died from leukaemia in a bid to raise more than £30,000 for different charities.

The London Kayakathon first took place in April 2010, after Simon Osborne spent many years planning what would become a headline event in the kayaking calendar.

He said: “Over the next five years we’d like to increase the number of events in the UK, around Europe and around the world.

“I’d like to see by 2018 £1million for a number of different charities and by 2020 the plan is to raise £2million.”

This Sunday’s 26-mile route will start at Tower Bridge at 1pm, where the group of more than a hundred sea kayakers will travel upriver to Chiswick Bridge, before stopping for a brief lunch and making the return journey.

Only experienced kayakers are eligible to take part in the non-competitive event, which promises to provide fabulous views along the Thames, taking in landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.

But it’s not the first time Simon has kayaked at length – back in 2002 he circumnavigated Great Britain and raised more than £22,000 for Leukaemia Research

He then decided to create an event for people without the resources to take part in large-scale expeditions the chance to use kayaking to raise money for causes close to their hearts.

Simon’s company Paddlesports Events C.I.C. is also holding a Kayakathon in Falmouth in June for the first time and a Great North Paddle in Newcastle in September.

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