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Bahamas Resident To Compete In First Virtual Boat Race

THIS Saturday, June 13, local Bahamas rower and current Cambridge University women’s boat squad member Sophie Paine will join Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship and club rowers, representing teams from Oxford and Cambridge to compete in the very first MCH.Londonvirtual boat race.

The event will raise funds for Power2Inspire, the charity committed to sport inclusivity through events, coaching and education.

Participant rowers of all abilities will be filmed while racing on ergometers in their homes across the world, and Sophie will join the crew with the promise of providing fun while raising funds for a great cause.

The race will be available to watch online at Power2Inspire’s Give as You Live page at 3pm BST – with an option for viewers to donate to the charity – and experience the thrill of watching these fantastic oarspeople compete in a virtual sporting event.

Rowers, including World champion Oliver Cook, Rio Paralympic Champion Grace Clough, Olympic Triple Gold Medallist Pete Reed, Australian para rower Renae Domaschenz and Gold Medallist Tom Ransley, will all race from their homes across the world. Garry Herbert and Martin Cross – of the BBC – will be providing commentary of the event, in what promises to be a high action, inclusive sporting occasion online.

The two teams, named Oxford and Cambridge, will be made up of eight rowers each, with able-bodied, disabled, lightweight and openweight participants. The rowers will be racing on ergometers in their homes across the world, with Jan Ole Ernst in Germany, Renae Domaschenz in Australia, Sophie Paine in the Bahamas, and the remaining team members in the UK.

Sophie Paine, representing Cambridge in the MCH.London virtual boat race said: “Being involved in this virtual boat race is something completely different and really enjoyable to be part of. Especially at a time when we can’t currently train or race with each other in real life. The power of inclusivity that the virtual event will bring is something we hope to experience in person soon, and encourage people of all abilities and backgrounds to get involved in sports.”

World Champion rower, Oliver Cook, representing Oxford in the MCH.London virtual boat race said: “The opportunity to compete with, and against, such skilled oarspeople, while also raising awareness of the need for more inclusivity in sports was something I couldn’t turn down. This virtual boat race is what we all need in times like these, and I hope the viewers at home enjoy it as much as we will, and if they can, donate to the great cause behind it.”

MCH London, the responsible advertising agency with positive human impact at the heart of its services, is sponsoring the first virtual boat race to provide support to help raise funds for the development of Power2Inspire’s University PowerHouseGames. These games bring together university sports clubs with students from a state, independent and special needs schools to unite individuals of all abilities through sport.

Mark C Howarth, Founder & Managing Director, MCH London said: “When we heard about the plan to arrange an inclusive virtual boat race we had to get involved and provide our support to the event. Not only will it let everyone watching at home enjoy a new format of sport, it will hopefully help break down barriers, and above all, support the number one Power2Inspire rule - to have fun!”

The rowers will compete on ergometers, rowing a collective distance of 6,838km. The first two boats will start, crossing a finish line at 500 metres, then the second boats will start, and this will continue until all eight sets of boats have taken part. A final time will be recorded to determine which team has won the race.

The full team line-ups are:

Oxford: Amelia Standing, Pete Reed, Grace Clough, Oliver Cook, Jan Ole Ernst, Martha Birtles, Alex Bebb and Amy Hosking

Cambridge: Jan Helmich, Freddie Markanday, Sophie Paine, Pippa Whittaker, Renae Domaschenz, Tom Ransley, Miranda Clements and Ollie Parish

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