World Cup referee Howard Webb has given his support to two members of the Rotary Club of Halifax who will travel the length of the Mississippi river by kayak for charity.
Ken Robertshaw and Grace Alsancak are aiming to complete the 2,350-mile journey in around 60 days and are hoping to £100,000 for the Theodora Children’s Trust, a small charity that supplies specially trained entertainers to 19 children’s hospitals and three children’s hospices around the UK.
Mr Webb, who refereed the 2010 World Cup final, said: “When I heard what Ken and Grace were planning to do I thought that it was an amazing thing and that they were brave for taking it on.
“Rotary club members do some extraordinary things for people all over the world but this challenge is something else and will provide funds for a charity that does so much to brighten the days for poorly children in hospitals around the country.”
Ken is a former police inspector and has been involved in other charity efforts including driving goods vehicles across Europe and driving a dog sled team across the arctic regions of northern Europe.
Grace is a Masters student in sports coaching at Leeds University and has also been involved in other charity challenges including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
One of their aims is to involve school-children in following their journey by logging onto the team website www.mississippichallenge.co.uk and tracing the journey on the map.
They will be unsupported on the journey and will carry all their supplies, replenishing along the way, camping or staying in small riverside towns.
The pair will be producing a book and illustrated lecture to present to sponsoring organisations and other interested groups, which will form the final part of the fund raising effort.