BY CALUM FRASER
Seven dog owners are going to paddle across the channel.
The women all met at Shrewsbury Park in Greenwich and bonded over their beloved pooches.
After watching their dogs for years bounding about the park and splashing through puddles, they decided to try a bit of doggy paddling themselves.
Libby Agate, 52, who swam the 23-mile channel last year, came up with the idea and suggested it to the group.
Ms Agate, of Shooters Hill, said: “I thought, ‘let’s go for it’ and put it to the dog walking ladies: ‘What do you think about rowing the English Channel?’
“I couldn’t believe it when they all said ‘yes’.”
The women, who call themselves Rebels Without Paws (RWP), are set to push off from Dover on June 28, rowing to Calais.
They have been busy training in the gym and on the Thames.
The challenge is being undertaken in aid of the Ahoy Centre charity in Deptford.
Ms Agate, who is a mindfulness teacher at the Greenwich Wellness Rooms, said: “I came across the Ahoy Centre and loved what they do helping young people locally with disabilities lead empowered lives.
“It fitted in with the ethos of The Wellness Rooms which aims to prevent mental health problems from occurring later in life.”
The RWPs have raised more than £6,500 towards their £12,000 target through hosting quiz nights, baking dog biscuits and making dog baskets which they sold at Greenwich Market.
On Saturday, May 19 they are hosting an afternoon tea to celebrate the Royal Wedding. It will take place at Severndroog Castle in Shooter’s Hill.
Tickets are £15 for tea, cake and sandwiches and donations are welcome.
Staff at the Greenwich Wellness Rooms are supporting the rowing challenge by lending their services to the team.
A voice coach, will train the boat’s cox to project their voice, a nutritionist will ensure the team are eating well and holistic therapist will provide breathing techniques for motion sickness.
Nicola Vanlint, founder and psychotherapist at The Wellness Rooms, said:
“Everyone in our Wellness team has experienced physical or mental health issues and have accessed the type of services we offer.
“We are focused on teamwork and improving wellbeing in the community so couldn’t think of a better challenge to support than a team of rowers rowing to raise funds for a charity committed to the cause.”
To donate, go to www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/rebelswithoutpaws.
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