How? When? Why?

I find myself asking: how on earth did we get here? A cold and frosty rememberance Sunday in 2017 and 7 women and their 12 dogs are lined up for a team photo. Not just any team, I hasten to add: Team Rebels Without Paws.

The answer to the question of ‘how’, is an interesting one. It’s fair to say it just sort of ‘happened’. Or rather, Libby (team captain) made it happen. Kallie, the only one in our team with any sort of rowing pedigree, had taken part in the Ahoy Centre’s Meridian Pull (an 8.5 mile row on the River Thames) over the summer. I have to admit to being quite envious. I get a thing about rowing every 4 years when Team GB smash it at the Olympics. But until a chance conversation with Libby one morning about how I really fancied doing what Kallie was doing, getting in to a boat had never been more than a daydream.

I should have known better than to admit my dream about taking on a rowing challenge to Libby. Last time we had one of these conversations, we ended up in a Half Iron Man relay. It can only be said that Libby is like the proverbial dog with a bone when an idea takes hold, so after the seed was planted, off she went to do some research. Next thing I know, we aren’t talking about a row up the Thames, Libby’s got us all but signed up to row the Channel. Now it’s important to say here that Libby has a strong connection with the English Channel. She swam it in summer this year. There are no words for how brave we all think she is for doing that; it’s an incredible achievement and I have to admit, Libby’s enthusiasm is infectous.

And so it came to be. Libby set her mind to it; we were going to row the Channel. When? In June 2018. So off she went on a one-woman recruitment drive to find her team. With a little trepidation for some of us, the team was confirmed, and that’s how we came to meet on Rememberance Sunday for our first team photo shoot. Please meet Team Rebels without Paws:

Libby, Team Captain

Coxswain: to be named

The ‘why’ we’re doing it will be told through our personal stories that we’ll share as part of this blog. Ultimately, though, why wouldn’t we do something to raise money for the amazing Ahoy Centre and the wonderful work that they do to help disadvantaged young and disabled people?

You can show your support for Team Rebels by donating or sending a virtual cheer by leaving your comments, tips or pearls of wisdom in the blog comments. Thanks for reading! Michelle

Children In Need

Tonight is Children In Need. The amazing team from The Ahoy Centre will be in the audience with their yellow t-shirts on – look out for them! The Ahoy is a very grateful recipient of the generosity of Children In Need donations. Rebels Without Paws are doing their bit to raise money to help the Ahoy keep up their great work by rowing the channel in June 2018.

Can you give up your Friday night takeaway tonight & donate the money to this fabulous cause? The Ahoy Centre improves the lives of disadvantaged young people and disabled people. Donations will help to train and motivate young people to gain invaluable life experiences, national qualifications, transferable employment skills and instill ambition and good citizenship.

Donate here!