Q1. After 11 years after founding and running O2e, you’re stepping down as Chair. What is it about O2e you’re most proud of?
O2e started as a small dream to help needy kids, spend more time with buddies and take on new challenges and adventures. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that 11 years on there would be hundreds of people involved and approaching £2 million raised for such amazing charities. Seeing the bonds and lifelong friendships that have been made is just brilliant.
Q2. Clearly there are too many memories to list but which ones stick out?
Wow that is a really tough question!
At our Gala Dinner a couple of years ago I had a quiet moment looking from the balcony and seeing the room absolutely full of kind, generous, highly motivated and driven friends going absolutely bonkers celebrating their incredible achievements for the year put a big lump in my throat.
Q3. You’ll never slow down with your exercise endeavors, we know that. But what motivates you to
Training is simply part of life and needs to be prioritised and built into your daily schedule, no matter how busy you are. There are sometimes when I don’t always feel like training but once I’ve given myself a slap and got on with it I’ve never ever regretted training. Like many things in life, often the hardest step is the first one. I simply want to do the best I can in whatever I do.
I love the experience of trying something new and having a new skill at the end of it. To me it’s all about the journey and not the destination as race day comes and goes very quickly but it’s the months of training with my buddies where I get the real enjoyment. Every single event has built a unique bond that only those on the team will know and feel and years later when we meet we are instantly back in that same team reliving the adventure and of course taking the p*** out of each other.
Q4. What events do you have coming up that will take you out of your comfort zone?
Myself, Ollie, Johnny, Stan and possibly Klaus have entered the Arctic Circle Race in Greenland in March. The event is a 3 day cross country ski race covering 60k per day. This is a completely new skill for us. I have been doing a good impression of Rodney in the ‘ Groovy Gang ‘ as have been roller skiing around Woldingham much to the amusement of the local residents!
Q5. How did it come about that you’re doing this event?
I wanted to challenge myself with a new event and skill. Cross country skiers are renowned to be the fittest athletes in the world so would like to be ahead of the broom wagon. There are so many places in the world I want to see and Greenland in defo on the list. We will be in the middle of absolutely nowhere so the peace, quiet and scenery will be stunning. The event will be incredible but it’s all about doing it with your buddies and our team is absolutely top top drawer.
Q6. Tell us more about your training. Inspire and motivate us!
Training is challenging as work and family life are full on. I have been concentrating on core and balance whilst trying to increase aerobic capacity with hill running and my old friend the bike. I am quite time poor so have to fit training in around life so the car is always full of gear that can be whipped out if have a spare 15 mins. Squats, lunges, swimming, walking, running, cycling, weights are my weekly routine.
Q7. What is going to be the toughest part of doing this event for you?
The conditions can be brutal and the will be very physically demanding. We’ve been told it’s very technical where good technique and form is essential but I will be trying to prove that brute force and ignorance always win through!!
Q8. What does the future hold for you and your connection to O2e?
I am fully committed to O2e and even though I’m stepping down as Chairman I will still be heavily involved ( so don’t think you will be getting the whistle Ollie!! ). There are so many challenges out there to be attempted and so many buddies I want to travel the world doing things well above our ability whilst raising money and having fun.
Q9. What is it about O2e that resonates with you and all the supporters you’ve reached out to over the years?
O2e ers are simply everything that is good about society. We all care about making a difference to others and our own lives. When you read papers or see the news, everyday there is nothing but bad news with bad people doing bad things! Spending time with O2e ers really does restore your faith in people!
O2e ers don’t judge, it doesn’t matter if you are an Olympian, novice, black, white, male, female, what job you do, where you live ( does matter a tiny bit if you are Welsh! ).
Once you have done an event you are officially an O2e er and nothing else matters as you are a team mate and a friend.
Q10. You’ve been the Tillerman for O2e in a huge way. Will O2e thrive without you and if so, how?
Very kind but not true. O2e is everybody’s charity, we all have a voice and there are so many passionate people involved that do the most incredible job. Charity work ( as long as you are supporting the right ones ) is simply something that we should all do year in and year out and O2e will continue to grow from strength to strength. O2e has grown into a huge family and is something every single person who has been involved at any level should be immensely proud of. There is a new ‘Captain on the Bridge ‘ and in Ollie we have a Chairman that leads from the front, has incredible drive and motivation and has all the skills, and more, to take us to the next level.
O2e is not about any individual it is about the hundreds of people that have built the DNA that has made O2e into the most amazing, dynamic and unique charity it has become.
So many people give up their valuable time to help run O2e, all different skill sets bringing something to the party. O2e is and will continue to be run with a smile, laugh, general banter and micky taking but always with a drive and passion to change lives a make a difference. O2e has changed and will continue to change my life for the better.
Q11. O2e helps fund legacy projects for charities that reap the benefits for years to come. What do you want your legacy to be?
I would love to be remembered as someone who:
- Gave more than he took.
- Left the world in a better place than when he arrived.
Q12. Finally, what advice do you have for any would-be O2eer?
Generally the hardest part of any challenge is having the courage to commit and enter. You will never fail even if you do not finish but you will and have failed if you do not try in the first place. Be brave, get buddies involved, make it fun and simply do your best. The mind is more powerful than the body and you CAN achieve so much more than you think you are capable than. He who dares Rodders………..