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Past Events

MS Challenge 2006

Please have a look at the article from the Swindon Advertiser, July 2006 - Article in PDF format

Each year a fund raising event takes place whereby teams from all parts of the British Isles gather in Snowdonia raising money for the MS Therapy Centres in the UK. The challenge is to carry a wheelchair passenger with MS safely over a demanding 10 km mountain course. The team camped overnight in readiness for their time slot on Sunday morning.

The event took place over the weekend of 7th - 9th July 2006, with about 50 teams taking part in total. It took place at Capel Curig, Snowdonia, North Wales, and the route is a 10 km orienteering course around the foothills, crossing rivers (sometimes waist deep), going through mud knee-deep and over rocky, hilly ground. Navigation instructions and a map are given out on the day. Each team will be timed but the event is not a race and there are no prizes for coming first. There are trained Marshals with radios situated around the course to assist.   

The team consisted of 12 people plus MS passenger. Our team, “Moonrakers”, was headed up for the second year by Brian Danby, one of the Volunteers at the Swindon MS Therapy Centre, together with his wife and friends, also David Wray, Chairman at the Centre, Jackie Wray, the Centre Manager and Emma Green, a member, and her son, making up some of the team. John Winslow, a new member at the Centre who has MS, put himself forward to be carried in the wheelchair around the course.

A carrying frame is provided at the event, to which the wheelchair is fixed, allowing up to 8 people to carry the wheelchair at one time.

The aim of the challenge is to give someone with MS the opportunity to experience the excitement, thrills, sights and sounds that their MS normally excludes them from, whilst also raising much needed funds for Swindon MS Centre.

Our thanks go to Hollister Ltd. who has kindly paid the entry fee of £125. The team also raised sponsorship hopefully totally around £4000 from family and friends.

Anyone wishing to add to the sponsorship can do so by visiting the section “Helping Us” and “Make a Donation” where you can you donate on-line through “Give Now”, otherwise any donations can be sent to the Centre by cheque to: Swindon MS Therapy Centre, Unit 71A BSS House, Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, SWINDON, SN2 2PJ.

Following are eyewitness accounts from previous Challenges.

 

AN EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT

Marshal with a view!

By Katie Dear

What is a marshal?

Well we happen to be the poor devils who lurk around in bogs, bushes and rivers for 3 days waiting for your team to hopefully come to us from the right direction, providing you have read the instructions properly. Nearly everyone verbally or physically abuses us - can we sue?!

Not only that but we do get to act as ‘midgy’ bait as we wear delightful, bright orange t-shirts or jackets. Do you realise how boring it gets when there are large gaps between teams and the refreshment tent forgets us? We could starve or dehydrate and all your worried about is getting muddy or wet! Take pity on us, we work hard!

Our work for the 2005 challenge started as soon as we took the tents down from the 2004 challenge. We have been busy securing the site and facilities, as well as trying to keep in contact with the many people who donate goods each year. We also have to liase with the centres around the country, ready to sort out any problems.

Gary, the chief marshal, and his trusty band have been scouting out new routes in all weathers at the site, information packs and leaflets have been re-vamped by a number of people. So it’s all happening and many of us work as well! The reward is the weekend and seeing all the smiling faces when a team finishes.

I am the river marshal and I have seen some funny sights from stripteases, water fights, team mooning and teams ducking their passengers! BUT the best was last year when Eddy, the gate marshal set-up a team to chuck me in and they got my assistant marshal, Emma, by mistake!

The strangest sight was a guy in a Sainsbury’s team, about two years ago, doing a rather erotic dance, covering himself in mud on the far bank of River 3. The vice squad has seized all pictures and videos of this!!!!!

KATIE

 

AN EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT

The Passenger experience!

By Ruth

What a challenge!

There I am at the starting line wrapped up with layers of clothing, hot water bottle, sitting comfortably in the most bizarre looking wheelchair, raring to go. To be quite honest, the praise goes out to my team who were fantastic, I didn’t fall out of the chair once! The team promoted a caring, sympathetic and lively attitude. Their hearts and souls were truly dedicated in carrying me through swamps, up and down valleys, through forests, over water and rocky ground. These are just a few of the obstacles that were faced during the Challenge. This was my second year and I certainly have no regrets.

Just one thing; watch out for the MS passenger with all the sweets, Alfie! For some reason his team always seems to complete the course waybefore my team! I’ll get you next time Alfie (it must be something in those sweets you keep feeding to your team!).

Apart from the enormous fun of it all, the MS Challenge has given me the opportunity to appreciate and experience the spectacular mountain scenery of Snowdonia, the scent of wild flowers and pine trees lingering in the summer air and to come face-to-face with wildlife.

On a more personal note, it’s wonderful to meet all the other Challenge teams from all over the country. Whatever the experience, I can say for sure that it’s a fantastic, fun-packed weekend. The good thing is that it all helps to raise money for OUR MS Therapy Centre.

RUTH