Skater Man: Barnstaple man in charity skateboard from John O' Groats to Lands' End
By tinap | Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 10:50
It's a well-worn route that's been walked, run and cycled many times, but now a Barnstaple skater is planning to skateboard from John O'Groats to Lands' End in aid of charity.
KickPush2014: Andy Norman is skateboarding from John O'Groats to Lands' End for charity Photo: Andy Casey
Andy Norman, 38, who works at Lampard Community School in Barnstaple, will skateboard over 1,000 miles to raise £10,000 for Asthma UK and A Skate, a charity that teaches children with autism the benefits of skating.
Andy, a passionate skateboarder since his youth, will launch his bid in July when he will skate from Barnstaple to Lands' End, in preparation for KickPush 2014 where he will skateboard from John O'Groats to Lands' End. As Andy works at a school he must complete the challenge during the school holidays and estimates it will take 25 days.
"No records will be broken," he says, "but my skate is really the maximum time I can give because I have to work."
Andy's inspiration for KickPush 2014 came when he looked into setting up a skating club at Lampard Community School in Barnstaple.
He says, "I skate and I love it. A few years ago I thought the kids at school may love it too. Skateboarding and Longboarding is a great individual art form and a great way of exercise. It, for the most part, doesn't follow the normal rules. It's great for kids with special needs."
The pupils really took to skating and the Lampard Skate Club was born and is now a popular part of the school timetable.
While setting up the club, Andy became interested in the benefits of skateboarding for children with special needs. Browsing the internet, he came across the A Skate Foundation, a US charity that works with children with autism.
"They bring the healing power of skateboarding to kids with autism in the US. To say I was blown away by their work was an understatement. The whole A Skate thing helped when I showed my ideas to the school leadership as it gave the club almost a legitimate side."
"They inspired the school club, I guess, so I want to pay it back and hopefully get them over to the UK to start their good work here. Please if you do nothing else check out the A Skate website it will inspire you and bring a tear and a smile to your face."
As an Asthma sufferer since he was five, Andy is also raising money for Asthma UK.
With just a few months to go before the first leg of his challenge, Andy is already in training, despite the recent bad weather.
"The physical side I am not really worried about, but I think mentally skating 40 miles a day will be tough. That is why I am not planning routes to the nth degree as I like the idea of it being more 'organic' and keep surprising me."
Andy has also had some help from local skating companies. Holey Truck, based in Chivenor, is sorting out Andy's trucks while Faltownboards have provided the decks. Andy is currently looking for a firm to help out with clothing for his challenge.
For more information, please check out Andy's website at http://www.kickpush2014.com/
Charity wristbands will also soon be available to on the website.
You can follow Andy's progress by liking his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kickpush2014
Are you organising or taking part in a charity event and would like to tell people about it? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org