Members of HMS Collingwood’s PT staff participated in a charity cycle named Exercise Coastal Passage. This was the brain child of one of the members of HMS Collingwood’ PT staff LPT Cole and was something that he wanted to do after the loss of his 5 year old son earlier in the year due to Epilepsy. The aim was to raise awareness Epilepsy and raise funds for RNRM charity, RNRM Children’s Fund, Royal Navy Benevolent Fund and SUDEP Action.
600,000 people are estimated to have Epilepsy in the UK, and the team decided to cycle 1 metre for every person. This was conveyed on a map of the UK and Dover to Falmouth was decided as the route for the challenge. Also, the South Coast would be the better option with regards to weather as winter was just rounds the corner.
The death of LPT Cole’s son impacted not only on close family and friends but also his work colleagues. When he proposed the plan to close members of the HMS Collingwood PT Dept, they did not hesitate to get involved. CPO Leona Young, LPT Ian Robinson and LPT Dwayne Hinds decided to join the ride.
They travelled 150km (93 miles) per day with stops at Brighton, Salisbury, Exeter and Plymouth. They didn’t really anticipate how tough the challenge would be. The first day, Dover to Brighton was a rude awakening. Heading out of Dover was tough but a lovely cycle along the sunny sea front. A quick stop for a cake and coffee in Hastings was a little bit of a mistake as they found out that cake is not the best fuel for the body when you are doing an endurance challenge like this. One of the lads (LPT Robinson) started to feel the pace and got a little disorientated and turned a little white. He was promptly taken to the support van, fuelled up and continued the rest of the Cycle. The diet was addressed for the second day (Brighton to Salisbury) with a lot of sugary sweats, nuts and about 10 litres of water. Again the team was treated with a lovely sunny day along the beautiful south coast with a quick morale stop in HMS Collingwood to meet family and friends. The third day Salisbury to Exeter (judgement day as it was known) was emotional, Hills on Hills on Hills on Hills. They anticipated that this day would be the toughest day and it didn’t disappoint. They were tackling hills more suited to the Tour De France, but they cracked on as a group with a smile on their faces and just peddled through the pain. When the days got tough they all supported and motivated one another with Clubz’s motivational input’s (stop winging like a girl and let’s crack on). After completing the challenge, there was a mixture of emotions, Happiness and relief that the challenge is over because it was so tough, appreciation and gratitude for all the people that sponsored the team. The team are proud of the achievement as they all worked really hard to complete the challenge.