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Lewis Sets New British Rowing Record

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Lewis Daly (Class of 2015), who plays water polo for Great Britain and left Bolton School in 2015 having joined the Infant School in 2004, has just broken the British record for distance rowed in a 24 hour period. 

Explaining the background, Lewis said: ‘I currently train at Tideway Scullers School in London where I am studying Dentistry at Kings' College London. The training programme consists of a mixture of erg sessions, strength and conditioning in the gym as well as sessions on the open water. The idea to undertake another 24 hour row came about out of the blue really, but the challenge of potentially improving my distance from my last row and taking the British record really appealed!’ 

In July of 2020, Lewis undertook the same challenge, raising over £3,000 for Bolton Hospice. This year’s endeavour will benefit them again; so far £3,450 has been raised. Continuing his story, he said: ‘And so, on Saturday the 18th of December at midday I started my second 24 hour row at Agecroft Rowing Club, with a target of beating the current British record that stood at 277,423m as well as raising money for a fantastic cause. I started strong and was just ahead of the record all the way through to hour 13. The night shift proved the toughest part, with fewer supporters and the darkness outside seemingly never ending, my energy levels waned and I started to lose the small lead I had on the British record. By this point, I couldn’t think straight and was in a strange zone where time was going by very slowly but very quickly at the same time. I felt physically sick but knew I had to keep eating and drinking to enable my body to continue with the challenge. I slowly gained my second wind and by 7am people started arriving back to the rowing club which boosted my energy levels and slowly my mental determination. By the last hour I was again just ahead of the record and pushed on to surpass the record with 12 minutes left to spare - allowing me to break through the old record and set a new British record of 280,427m! 

‘A massive thanks go out to my support crew who stayed with me, fed me and ensured I was able to keep rowing for the whole 24 hours and also to Agecroft Rowing Club, who hosted the event. It was fantastic to also be joined by numerous people on the erg next to me - current Bolton School boys, Agecroft rowers (juniors and masters) as well as current Bolton School Staff, Dr Yates and Mr Teasdale. Without this support, I would definitely have found this endeavour much more challenging. The support crew have also said, in no uncertain terms, that if I ever consider another 24 hour challenge, they will all have strong words with me! 

‘I chose Bolton Hospice, specifically the “Hospice at Home” nurses, as they provided amazing care to my Auntie when she was unwell last year. The caring and nursing expertise of this amazing service proved invaluable to her and to us as a family, enabling her to stay at home even when she was very poorly.’ 

Now in a period of recovery, Lewis said: ‘It is an ongoing and sore recovery but I am hoping I’ll be able to sit down again properly for my Christmas lunch! I am very proud to have  been able to raise money for this amazing charity, the Just Giving link is still live and any donations will go to helping people and families when they need it most. All donations are very much appreciated!’

You can still donate to Lewis's fundraiser via this link.

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