Can you take on The Great Row for cancer?

A Chorley gym is encouraging people to pull together to beat cancer by taking part in a unique fund-raising rowing challenge.

Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 9:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 10:11 am
Helen Glover

David Lloyd Clubs, which has a branch in Moss Lane, Whittle-le-Woods, has partnered with Cancer Research UK to give anyone who takes on the Great Row challenge access to its clubs across the country every Friday throughout March.

Participants will receive a link when they sign up to the challenge that will give them access to their ‘free Fridays’ pass.

The Great Row is a fund-raising initiative in partnership with the renowned Oxford and Cambridge Boat Races, now known as The Cancer Research UK Boat Races.

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Would-be rowers can go solo or complete the indoor challenge as part of a team, there are different challenge levels to choose from - anything from 2,000 metres up to a full marathon.

The chosen distance should be covered on an indoor rowing machine and completed during Challenge Week, a week before The Boat Races take place on Sunday April 2.

Olympic rowing champion Helen Glover, who is supporting Cancer Research UK’s The Great Row, said: “The Great Row is flexible and includes a challenge to suit every level, whether you’ve never used a rowing machine before or you think you might win an Olympic medal one day. On top of being a fantastic fitness motivator, it’s a good way to support Cancer Research UK’s work. Last year was a huge success and it would be brilliant to see even more people get into rowing and doing their bit to beat cancer. ”

Frances Milner, executive director of philanthropy and partnerships at Cancer Research UK, said: “The Great Row is a challenge like no other and we’re thrilled to bring it back for 2017. So many people got involved last year and discovered a new love for rowing, all while raising funds for our vital cancer research.

“Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer, which is why we need to pull together, get active, commit to a challenge and raise as much money as possible to help bring forward the day that all cancers are cured.”

The fitness fund-raiser is part of a wider partnership with The Boat Races following BNY Mellon and Newton Investment Management’s decision to pull together and generously donate their headline sponsorship rights of The Boat Races in January last year.

Alison Barbuti, Cancer Research UK spokesman for Lancashire, said: “Cancer does not discriminate - almost everyone will have either experienced cancer themselves or know someone who has been affected. That’s why we need as many people as possible to pull together and beat cancer by signing up for The Great Row.

“Whether you’ve never rowed before, fancy yourself as a pro or you’re just looking for a new training goal, The Great Row is the perfect challenge for you. By taking part and raising vital funds, participants can row their way to greatness with a challenge that will not only make them feel great physically, but will also help to save lives.”

To download a training plan and fund-raising pack, visit: and to join the conversation, follow #PullTogether on Twitter.