The Help for Heroes Gig Rowing Team will set sail to the Scillies tomorrow, Wednesday 29 April, ready to race in the weekend’s World Pilot Gig Championships.
The team, made up of wounded, injured and sick veteran and serving forces personnel, took delivery of their kit from local food manufacturer Ginsters this week ahead of the competition.
Ginsters has a long and proud history of supporting charities which are close to the hearts of its employees and consumers. The company encourages internal teams to take part in fundraising events for each of its charities particularly in the local community.
This year the company has joined forces with Help for Heroes to develop a new charity brand partnership. Ginsters will be the headline sponsor for the Charity's flagship event the Hero Ride which takes place from June 17-21. Underpinning Ginsters' partnership with the Hero Ride will be its support for the local Help for Heroes Naval Service Recovery Centre (NSRC) in Plymouth.
At the end of last year, Ginsters identified an opportunity to involve a team from Help for Heroes in the World Pilot Gig Championships which take place every year on the Isles of Scilly. Ginsters has provided funding for team kit and resources to get the team up and running and introduced them to the Caradon Gig Rowing Club which has been lending a hand with the training, the equipment and their facilities.
The Help for Heroes Gig Rowing Team, which is part of the Help for Heroes Sports Recovery Programme and includes veteran and serving wounded, injured and sick forces personnel, has only been training since January. Their injuries and illnesses span amputations, severe arthritis, spinal calcification and post-traumatic stress disorder.Gig rowing encourages a high degree of teamwork and coordination; it is both challenging and competitive especially when out on the open seas.
Mark Duddridge, Managing Director at Ginsters: "We are proud to be associated with the Help for Heroes charity as it fits perfectly with the causes our consumers really care about. We were absolutely delighted to introduce the NSRC in Plymouth to the sport of Gig Rowing last year and have been really impressed by the standard of rowing the team has achieved in what has only been a very short space of time. I know it has helped the guys, many of whom have been subject to life changing injuries, both physically and mentally. They have been a true inspiration to me personally and all those involved in the training. They have demonstrated to all of us what can be achieved with sheer will and determination and it has been a humbling experience to be part of their journey towards the World Pilot Gig Championships.
“This is the first time a team of this nature has competed in the World Pilot Gig Championships and the islanders and organising committee are delighted to be welcoming the Help for Heroes Team to the island during the May Bank Holiday. They have been extremely helpful and generous during the build up to the competition including lending the team a boat and equipment - we would like to thank them for all their generous support.”
Jock Easton, Help for Heroes NSRC General Manager: “We’re grateful to Ginsters for their support over the last few months. The lads have been training hard and it’s been good to see the commitment from a well-respected local business in backing their journey. It remains to be seen how the team will do in the Championships this coming weekend but we have every faith in their determination and whatever the outcome it will feel like a win.”
Raed more about our partnership with Ginsters here.