Radio 1 DJ and I'm a Celeb star to make a splash in Rugby during Red Nose Day rowing challenge - The Rugby Observer

Radio 1 DJ and I'm a Celeb star to make a splash in Rugby during Red Nose Day rowing challenge

Rugby Editorial 25th Feb, 2022   0

A RADIO 1 DJ and reality TV star will be making a splash in Rugby as he takes on a gruelling 100-mile rowing challenge for charity.

Jordan North, who co-hosts BBC Radio 1’s drivetime show, is taking on an endurance challenge of a lifetime by rowing for five days straight from London to Burnley to raise money for Red Nose Day – and is due to finish his second day in Rugby travelling via the Oxford Canal.

On Monday (February 28), the I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here runner-up will say goodbye to the warmth and comfort of the studio he shares with his co-host Vick Hope and set off in a single scull rowing boat, as he begins a relentless five-day journey along the country’s canals from London to reach his hometown of Burnley.

Jordan will need to navigate the twists and turns backwards as he rows upstream for eight hours a day, for five days straight – and will be tested like never before by the unpredictable British weather, freezing cold waters and aches and pains from non-stop rowing.

He said: “Year in, year out Comic Relief transforms people’s lives, so to be a part of that in a small way is a huge privilege. Six weeks ago, when I was stood by the side of the River Thames, I thought ‘how hard can it be to row a boat?’. Trust me, it’s very hard.

“It took me seven attempts to pass my driving test so you can imagine how I’m feeling about navigating 100 miles of the canals to get to Burnley over five days solo. There have been times where I’ve thought that I won’t be able to do this and have felt quite overwhelmed. I know it will be so hard.

“Having said all that, I am also really excited. I’ve been putting my body through it and pushing myself as far as I can go in training. I am really proud to be doing this for Red Nose Day, I grew up watching it on TV and know it raises money for such an amazing charity that does fantastic work and supports a lot of young people.”

In preparation, Jordan has been undergoing intense training with Fulham Reach Rowing Club Trainer, Tracy Corbett, for the last six weeks, practising his rowing technique on the River Thames and going through a rigorous strength and conditioning programme.

Tracy said: “Rowing is one of the hardest sports to conquer both physically and mentally. The challenges ahead for Jordan are endless – he could encounter four seasons in one hour. Jordan will need to stay focused and be on top of his steering, so as not to crash into any moored vessels which could injure him or damage the boat. His spatial awareness will need to be on high alert as he will be rowing through narrow bridges and tight bends, and will need to avoid a lot of canal furniture.

“It is going to take a lot of mental strength and correct fuelling to get through all five challenge days, and he will endure muscle aches and joint soreness throughout his whole body.”

Jordan’s challenge will be broadcast live throughout the week on Radio 1, including daily canalside broadcasts of Going Home with Vick and Jordan.

The challenge attempt will also be filmed for a documentary due to air on BBC Three and iPlayer in March in the run up to Red Nose Day, which returns on Friday March 18.

Tracy, who will form part of Jordan’s support team throughout the challenge, added: “This would be a massive challenge for any seasoned rower, so given that Jordan has only been rowing for a short period of time, he is going to need all the positive thoughts and support to get him through the challenge. If there is any support you can give Jordan, by making a donation or sending him some love on Twitter – please do!”

Jordan has also been given advice and tips from Local Solutions, a project supported by Comic Relief based in Liverpool which uses water sports to support young people experiencing homelessness or insecure housing in Liverpool. Steph, aged 19, attends the project and has been helping to keep Jordan motivated by sharing her own experience.

Steph said: “I love the water – it makes you forget about everything else when you’re out there. It’s like a break from everyday life and makes me feel calm and relaxed. The sessions give me motivation, goals and aspirations. A sense of purpose again. Local Solutions brought out the fire in me. They gave me my energy back”.

Money raised by Red Nose Day will support vital life-changing work in the UK and around the world which includes tackling homelessness, domestic abuse, poverty and mental health problems.

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