Marlborough students' Devizes to Westminster canoe challenge for good cause

While their friends looked forward to relaxing over the Easter holidays, Monty Eayrs of Marlborough and Jago Reeves of Northleach, Gloucestershire, took on the 125-mile Devizes-Westminster canoe race in aid of national children’s charity Starlight.

Monty, 16, and Jago, 17, set off on Good Friday and finished in 23 hours, 46 minutes, smashing their original schedule of four days.

The pair, who are both pupils at Marlborough College, have been training for the challenge since September and it took a great deal of dedication to keep up with their programme amid their busy school lives. Even in the coldest weather, they have been out on the water and have even been using their weekends to undertake training races.

Funds raised by the challenge will be donated to Starlight, which is a national charity that grants wishes for seriously and terminally ill children and provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices across the UK. Starlight was co-founded nearly 30 years ago by actress Emma Samms and Monty and Jago chose to support the charity as they are friends with her daughter and were inspired when they heard about its work.

Monty said, “It’s an excellent cause and we really appreciate the work the charity does for children. We both felt we wanted to support a charity for children as the thought of a child with a terminal or serious illness, and the effects it has on their lives is heartbreaking.”

Sponsor them at www.just giving.com/montyandjago

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