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Students aim to break youth stereotypes with charity canoeing marathon

The Canoe Marathon team from Easton College
The Canoe Marathon team from Easton College

A group of Norfolk teenagers preparing to embark on a gruelling 20-mile canoe marathon in aid of charity say they hope their efforts will help eliminate negative stigma surrounding young people.

Six students all studying at Easton College near Norwich will travel approximately 19.6 miles in three canoes from Wroxham to Aylsham and back, over the course of eight to nine hours on Tuesday, April 21, to raise money for the Royal British Legion, despite all of them having little to no previous experience of canoeing.

The team is comprised of Max Adams and Steph Leeks, both aged 19, Luke Knights, Shannon Parfitt and Aimee Shaw, all aged 18, and William Yarham, aged 17.

Max, who lives in Long Stratton, told the Diss Express: “We are trying to get away from the typical stereotypes of teenagers who don’t apply themselves.

“We are all new to this (canoeing), which is why we thought it would be a great challenge to get out of our comfort zones and push ourselves to the limit.”

He added the group was currently training with experienced rowers in preparation for the expedition and appearing at community events in south Norfolk and beyond, not only to collect funds but also raise awareness of the work done by the Royal British Legion in the area.

“One of our assignments is to organise an event, and we thought we wanted to make a bit of a difference. We all felt it (the Royal British Legion) was such a great cause,” said Max.

“The support has been really good. We are receiving a lot of great messages on Facebook and Twitter, and a lot of people I speak to say they are really impressed that it’s teenagers who are doing this.”

At the time of going to press, the group is thought to have raised more than £400 for their endeavours.

Anybody who is interested in pledging a donation to the team can do so by paying a visit to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/20milecanoechallenge

To find out any additional information, follow the group on Twitter via @20MileCanoe or search Facebook for ‘20 Mile Canoe’ for regular updates.

n Are you involved in a charity or fundraising event? Do you live in south Norfolk or north Suffolk? Get in touch with us by calling 01379 658010 or send us an email via editorial@dissexpress.co.uk

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