Last week British Canoeing member Philip Sowden began his quest to complete the first solo undertaking of the Bliss Canoe Trail to raise funds for charity.
A canoe and kayak coach at Falcon Rowing & Canoe Club and Isis Canoe Club, Philip has recently celebrated his 70th birthday and will be ‘savouring the challenge’ over the next 2-3 months. Starting and finishing in Oxford, he is aiming to complete the 862 mile circuit which includes over 500 locks, 13 tunnels and 19 canals and rivers.
Despite having recovered from a stroke in 2007, and still suffering from osteoarthritis in his right knee and other joints Philip will be completing the challenge alone, paddling solo in his WeNohNah Solo plus, with support from his wife and Peter Travis to replenish his food and clothing supplies.
The Bliss Canoe Trail has only been completed twice before, but this will be the first time it has been completed as a solo challenge. It is hoped that he will be accompanied by friends and clubs on his route, and the offer of a bath and perhaps a bed for the night would be gratefully accepted from any supporter!
Philip is hoping to raise funds for SSNAP, the premature baby unit at the JR hospital, and MacMillan Cancer Support. Philip’s granddaughter was born in the premature baby unit at the JR hospital, Oxford in June 2016 and is the light of all the family! His father died in 2014 at home and the family were supported by Macmillan nurses providing respite care at night so he could be at home as he wanted.
Donations may be made via his Virgin Money Giving page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PhilipSowden1