The Mayor of Medway, Cllr Vaughan Hewett is embarking on a number of health and fitness challenges in the coming weeks, including a charity abseil, a river swim and a 10km walk along the sea wall.

Taking inspiration from the London 2012 Olympics, the events have been organised to highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle while making the most of Medway’s many parks and open spaces. As part of the Healthy Heart campaign, the Mayor has already led an 18-mile cycle around the Heron Trail on the Hoo Peninsula (Sunday, 26 August), and on Saturday, 22 September, the challenge is to go ‘Over the Edge’ at the Mayor’s charity abseil down mhs Homes’ Melville Court in Chatham.

There will also be a 10km walk along the river sea wall on Sunday, 30 September and finally on Wednesday 24 October, an evening skiing or tobogganing at Chatham Ski Slope in aid of the Mayor’s charities. Martyn Reeves, Chief Executive of the Friends of the Wisdom Hospice is also organising a swim across the River Medway, and has invited the Mayor, who holds the title of Admiral of the River, to take part.
Supported and chaperoned by a vessel from Willsonian Sailing Club, the event will take place on Saturday, 13 October and will also be attended by Medway Council’s Chief Executive Neil Davies, Canon Phillip Hesketh from Rochester Cathedral and the Vice-Commodore of the Sailing Club.

Martyn said: “Everyone should carry out their own personal challenge, no matter how small. Just 30 minutes of exercise each day can prevent heart disease and other illnesses. The activity can be as varied or simple as you like, whether walking briskly, vacuuming or even playing Frisbee, and you can break the session up into shorter bursts of 10 or 15 minutes. “Both the Mayor and I like cycling and can swim, so when I challenged the Mayor to swim across the Medway, he in turn challenged me to the charity abseil as I have a fear of heights. Luckily we both like a challenge!”

Cllr Hewett added: “The cycling, abseiling and swimming challenges were basically our Medway version of a triathlon, but now that more events such as waking and skiing have been added it looks like progressing to heptathlon status. As well as raising money for good causes we want to encourage everyone to try a new activity this year – you just don’t know your limits until you have a go” The Friends of the Wisdom Hospice run a number of fundraising cycling, walking, running events through the year. The next Hospice Walk will be held on Sunday, 9 September at Capstone Park, Gillingham. For more information visit http://www.fowh.org.uk or call 01634 831163.

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