Two teams of distinguished, retired Olympic rowers will be joining the Mates in Mind team for the inaugural Regatta London, taking place on Sunday 29 September.
The Regatta will be the first ever mass-participation paddle-sports event taking place on a closed river Thames, due to the planned annual closure of the Thames Barrier that day. This means no tide or other non-race traffic, so a safer environment for all involved. The challenge is a 12-mile route for kayaks and stand up paddle boards, and 14 miles for rowers, with the routes passing many of the iconic landmarks along the Thames.
Olympian Cameron Nichol has put together the two rowing teams of eight, one male, one mixed and can’t wait to take part and support this event, saying “As a group of retired Olympians and international rowers who are now after great experiences, rather than high octane start lines, Regatta London is a perfect event. The opportunity to be on the water on a closed River Thames in the middle of London, with thousands of people as well as old friends – we wanted to do it the minute we heard about it!
“What’s more is that we’re also doing this to raise funds for Mates in Mind – a fantastic charity that is promoting awareness and providing support and resources to help improve mental wellbeing of people at work. There’s a clear link between physical and mental well-being and as former athletes that have experienced a high-pressure environment, the transition into the workplace with optimal mental health is a cause close to our hearts.
“We’re rowing the 19.2km as a physical challenge, to help celebrate the River Thames and bring attention to this worthy cause. We hope you’ll be able to support our challenge and Regatta London itself.”
James Rudoni, Managing Director of Mates in Mind said “We are delighted to be involved with the first ever Regatta London as a Headline Charity Partner and excitedly welcome the support of these former Olympians led by Cameron Nichols, who will be out there rowing on the day for Team Mates in Mind.
“As we know mental illness and mental ill-health doesn’t discriminate- it’s something that can affect anyone at any point regardless of ability – with one in four people experiencing a mental health issue a year. What we need to remember is that you’re not alone – and an event such as this is an opportunity to help remind people of that.
“Regatta London promises to be a memorable event for all involved, both on and off the water. We encourage anyone with an interest in paddle sports to get involved, seize this unique opportunity and support our work to start the conversation about mental health in the workplace, as well as taking action to improve it.
“You can sign up on our website and don’t worry, you don’t have to be an Olympian to take part!”