Sydenham High rowers pull together for tumour survivor’s fundraising Atlantic record bid
Sydenham High School’s rowers are pulling together for a very special charity world record attempt by rower and Cushing’s disease survivor Kiko Matthews. Kiko is raising money for the new critical care unit at King’s College Hospital by attempting to become the fastest female to cross the Atlantic solo and unsupported. The team from Sydenham High is hoping to raise £1,000 for her cause by aiming to row a total of 3,000 miles in training – the actual distance Kiko will be rowing in January (minus the Atlantic’s 40ft waves!)
Since her 2009 diagnosis of a rare and life-threatening disease, Kiko’s life has been saved not once but twice by the doctors and nurses of King’s. To thank the hospital, and challenge herself, Kiko decided to use her love of rowing to raise money for the new unit, which will help save many more lives in the future.
More than 25 rowers, including captain of boats Phoebe and year 12 rowing scholar Darcy, have been taking to the school’s ergo machines, to add to their river training, to clock up the necessary miles and reach their sponsorship target.
Kiko herself joined them on the river for a training session and was paired with year 11 rower Elena. Afterwards Kiko announced on Twitter: “Having a year 11 girl in charge and showing me the ropes was awesome. Totally loved my afternoon.”
The Sydenham High team was inspired to support Kiko after she was the guest speaker at senior school prize giving in July. They are one of one hundred female supporters and groups being recruited by Kiko through her 100TogetHER fundraising campaign.
"This challenge proves that anyone can attempt anything given the right attitude, belief and support. I want to use my story to inspire women to challenge themselves on many levels. Whether a physical, social or mental challenge, recognising the journey and developments you make is key to developing confidence and independence.”