Sponsorship Events

The River Dove Sponsored Paddle Report – 22 March 2009.

Well the “big day” arrived, as did Christopher & dad, at the start of the 11 & a bit mile paddle down the Dove. On arrival, we encountered two issues. We had arrived without our entry money, so had to blag our way into the event & then found we had remembered all of our gear except the helmets. Very important, bearing in mind we are to descend 3 big weirs en-route in-between the white water in places!

Still, not to be deterred, we started the event. dad took a leisurely entry to the water slipping gently into the river from about a 2 foot high bank. Chris on the other hand took the alternative, no, not to put the boat in the water then get in, far too easy. He got in on dry land at the top of about an 8 foot 75 degree slide into the river. A quick shuffle made the kayak slide forward gain momentum then hit the water, submerge, so that all that could be seen of him was his smiling face, arms & paddle above the water. Proud dad watched on in awe as he was one of the 5 of the 70 paddlers that took the hard route in.

Once we were on the water, Chris looked after dad like a true loving son, well really to ensure that dad did not capsize, nearly drown & make lots of noise in the process as this is embarrassing for a nearly 14 year old! So at 10.30am we were on our way & with some good coaching from Chris, dad  made it safely to the 1st weir at 5 miles, don’t tell the sponsors as dad missed out this decent as he  had thankfully forgotten his helmet as you are aware. Not to be deterred, Chris arranged to borrow a helmet from one of the guys at the bottom of the weir to allow him to make the descent. What a decent it was, down a feeder chute just a bit wider than the kayak about 50 degrees angle & 25 foot long. With a cry of delight he descended safely breaking thorough the 2 foot wave at the bottom.

After a mile more paddling on a full stomach, after we stopped for lunch, we met mum at a prearranged point Tutbury Bridge. She had been called in by emergency phone call to deliver our missing helmets from home. Mum was happy to help out, as she always is being a good mum & wifey, but we think the long wait in the cold wind for about the best part of an hour to find we had been eating lunch, was not the best news she had on Mothers Day! However, at least we had our own helmets for the remaining equally difficult weirs and the grade 1 to 2 waters between. So, on thanking mum for reuniting us with our helmets, we paddled off into the distance totally forgetting to wish her “Happy Mothers Day”! More “Brownie Points” lost.

At the next weir, we met by mum, dad's uncle & parents to see the demonstration of white water paddling by their boys. Chris went 1st & was impressive, paddling up to the weir in great style, with even greater confidence, yet again descending, I am told, with a big smile & whoop. Then it was dad’s turn, he approached the weir with trepidation, confidence at an all time low, went over the top, grimaced & shouted some sort of unrepeatable insults to himself & the water. However, it was dad who got the biggest cheer as he made it. Chris wasn’t too bothered as dad remained upright & in the boat so not embarrassing him too much at all.

All went better then normal to the next weir. Dad got confident, Chris accepted dad was getting better & was in vague control based on the fact that his boat was going in the general right direction, keeping up with the rest of the group & had not had any near misses with the white water, trees or other boaters. Up to this point, dad had hit other boats, spun out of control & had very close encounters with over hanging trees for the majority of the then travelled 8 miles.

So here we were at the last weir, full of confidence, ready to go & my goodness did dad go. He approached like an expert paddler, with speed, confidence & paddling strongly! However, this was not a normal weir for dad (well he had only been over 2 before & that was today!) it was “stepped” at the top. Dad did not know this so, when he went over the top to fall off the edge instead of slide as expected, the obscenities were heard miles away! However, he stayed upright which was more than a lot of the paddlers, it may have been luck, it may have been skill be he did it.

So with a bit more paddling, we made it to the end in one piece, Chris was “yeh, that was great but would have been more fun if the weirs & white water were bigger”, while dad, now an “expert paddler” in his own eyes, was planning trips to the White Nile to negotiate some even bigger waves.

So in summary, we had a fantastic day in great company & we raised some money for Jerry. A big thanks should go out to CEMEX, dads employer, for donating £200 & congratulations to Chris not for looking after dad but on being the youngest paddler in a single boat to make the distance that day.

So that’s it until another year for the Dove.   
Manchester 10k Run
The run takes place this year on 17th May.  Hope to post a little more news shortly.
Chris Metcalf
Chris, of Progressive Logistics, has signed up for a number of 5 mile trail runs and a 10k race in Delamere Forest throughout this Summer in order to raise funds for the Jerry Ward Trust Fund. His next race will be on 7th August. I am sure Chris would welcome your support and help to raise funds for Jerry. 
Chris has now completed all five races. Thank you Chris, your wonderful fund raising efforts are very much appreciated.
Emma Brand
Emma is one of those lovely ladies who look after you when you fly with Thomas Cook. Emma flew with Jerry as Captain on her first longhaul flight which was to Toronto. She still remembers that trip and of course Jerry. Emma is a keen swimmer and is raising funds for Jerry by swimming five miles, that's 243 lengths of the Cheadle swimming pool on 5th September starting at 4-30pm. Please go and support her, she would love to see you there.
What a brilliant achievement, 5 miles in 3 hrs 25 mins and well done Jane who swam with Emma for part of the way. That really is a tough way to earn sponsorship for Jerry's Fund. Thank you Emma, so much.
Herbie Hancock
Squadron Leader Jon  Hancock, or Herbie as he became known, is an ex RAF colleague of Jerrys. They became friends when they first met at RAF Akrotiri in the late 80's and sometime later when they both joined 56 Squadron. Herbie is undertaking a half marathon run to raise donations for Jerry's Trust Fund. The half marathon is The Great North Run which takes place in October. Good luck Herbie we all wish you well.
Herbie made it. Many, many thanks for your wonderful effort.
Sam & Friends
Since we last went to press, Sam and his friends had a get together and decided to sponsor a haircut. The victim probably had the longest hair but the deciding factor which determined who went under the scissors was his name. Sean, you have been, and that was very brave of you.
They managed to raise over £100 for the Fund. Well done you guys, give it a few months and you can do it again !!!!!!!!!
Nic Roderick
Nic, who is 17, is Jerry's nephew and has just got his first job tuitoring maths. He has donated his first raft of earnings, a princely £140,  to the fund. Thank you Nic, that was very, very generous.
Karen Stock
Karen is another of those lovely ladies who worked with Jerry. Karen is running a half marathon in October to raise money for the Trust Fund. Many thanks Karen, may the Force be with you !
Ed Ried
Ed completed the Great North Swim raising a welcome and generous amount of sponsorship for Jerry. Thank you so much.
Simon & Christopher Thorne
Simon and his son Chris are taking part in the River Dove tour on 22nd March 2009. The overall trip is 11 miles long covering grade 1 and grade 2 water. This is the boys first big paddle in kayaks and will present challenges in both distance and degree of difficulty. Thanks for doing this for Jerry and Good Luck.
If there is anyone who is raising, or who has raised, money for Jerry's Trust Fund and would like a mention on this page please let me know. Send me, John Hart, an Email ( with a few lines about what you are doing and I will broadcast it to all and sundry. You never know, It may generate a little extra sponsorship for you.