A MEMBER of the Great Britain Judo squad will be rowing the equivalent of the English Channel on a rowing machine in his dining room in memory of his granddad.
Connah Anders, 25, from Hindley will be rowing 22 miles to raise funds for Wigan and Leigh Hospice which cared for his granddad Alan Davies.
Alan, who was a police officer until his retirement, sadly passed away from mesothelioma in the hospice in February 2020 aged 73.
Connah, who is a blind athlete, will be taking on his challenge on May 5th.
He said: “My granddad was in the hospice last year for a couple of days before he died. Before that he had help at home from hospice nurses. I was in Georgia training at the time he was on the ward so I asked my mum a lot of questions about what was happening. She told me what help he was getting, how he had his own bedroom and patio doors and I realised they were doing a lot.
“During the pandemic I haven’t been able to train because it’s a contact sport and now I want to get fit so I can hopefully restart my judo training. I also wanted to do some fundraising so I decided to put the two together.”
British Judo Centre of Excellence
Connah trains at the British Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall, West Midlands, Monday to Thursday and is a student at the nearby university campus which is part of the University of Wolverhampton. He studies strength and conditioning – which he describes as a kind of highly skilled personal training.
Connah has done just a few weeks of training ahead of the event.
“I wanted to push myself to do something I haven’t done before,” he said. “I got a rowing machine off my parents at Christmas and wanted to do something with a difference so I picked a distance of rowing the equivalent of the English Channel at random.
“I’ve not given myself a massive training window because I want it to be difficult. I know if I’d given myself six months to train it wouldn’t be a challenge so I’ve given myself a few weeks to get used to it and straight away it’s a massive challenge.”
He expects the challenge to take around four and a half hours and is hoping to livestream his efforts from about 6pm.
Once Connah announced his challenge on social media £500 in donations poured in on the first day and he is now up to over £800 in donations.
He added: “My granddad was funny, he always helped me and he was interested in knowing what I was doing. He lived across the road so I saw him all the time growing up.
“I wanted the funds to go to a charity that I know does a lot of good stuff and I thought after what happened with granddad I wanted to help the hospice.”
Photo: Connah and his granddad