Folkestone Channel Triathlon is another Super Success
Folkestone Channel Rotary Club’s fourth Triathlon took to the water and roads of Folkestone on 5th September, once again under the leadership of Club maestro Joe Sullivan. The response of the athletes was excellent and plans are already in hand for the next one in September 2022. The Channel Tri is now well established in the South East calendar and this time it attracted people from a wide area including visitors from Australia and Poland.
Local personality Matt Morsia from Hythe (one of the best known fitness gurus in the UK) opened the event. He has over 2 million subscribers on his You Tube channel ‘Matt Does Fitness’, 900,000 on Instagram and is just publishing his new book.
200 enthusiasts of all standards from beginners to fully experienced swam, cycled and ran. Based at the Harbour Arm, the Channel Tri showcases the major developments in the Harbour area, the Town and our amazing coastal and countryside scenery during the swim, cycle and run phases. The athletes took to the water like ducks with the protection of canoeists from the Folkestone Rowing Club and Folkestone Rescue Service. The pleasant sun later in the morning added to the enjoyment. Triathlons are about challenging yourself. Not many have a genuine sea swim and for some athletes this was their first experience of choppy water and they had the comfort of knowing they were being safely watched over. The same drive and commitment was evident in the cycle and run phases and there were some powerful, personal achievements as athletes conquered the route and their tiredness. Every finisher was presented with a smart medal as a permanent reminder of a very enjoyable day.
We’ve had tremendous feedback including:
- “Very well managed and the marshals were so helpful and friendly.’
- “I just wanted to say a big thank you for a really well organised, safe, fun GoTri today. I did it with my son in law and grandson and it will provide great memories, and a sense of achievement! A big thanks to all the marshals, volunteers and staff, who really made it such a great experience, and gave us encouragement and friendly advice and instructions! I really don’t like running but I did it with a smile!”
Channel Rotary President Gary Calver and Organiser Joe Sullivan were delighted with the outcome saying. “This has been another excellent event. Once again, we are grateful to everyone who helped to make it such a success including the athletes, our wonderful marshals, volunteers and our sponsors particularly The Roger De Haan Trust, FAS, SAGA, Kent County Council, Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Folkestone Town Council, Jenner Construction and Walker Brothers. Its a little early to know how much we’ve raised but we expect a sizeable amount for a range of local charities including South Kent MIND and Shepway Youth Trust.”
Local Rotary Clubs Provide Happy Fun Day For Young Carers
For further information: David Rolls, Channel Rotary, 07774 962409
The four local Rotary Clubs of Channel, Romney Marsh, Hythe and Folkestone joined forces on15th August to host a day of fun and games at the XIXth Hole Clubhouse at Littlestone Golf Club. The sun shone and the day remained dry as about 60 Young Carers and their families from all over the district gathered to enjoy a variety of games and a Hog Roast.
The event had become a regular fixture in the calendar of all four clubs before the Covid pandemic put a stop on large gatherings last year and so it was with great pleasure that we were able to run it again this year. The children enjoyed playing mini football, target boules, bowling and skittles and one young lady enjoyed the quoits game so much, she kept coming back and eventually amassed a total score of well over 6,000 points in the course of the afternoon. There was also a putting competition with prizes for the lowest scores returned by a girl and a boy plus a special reward for a ‘hole in one’ by a youngster who thus made himself the envy of many of the adult golfers present. Unfortunately, he was considered too young to be made to buy a round of drinks for all present, the usual ‘reward’ for such a feat.
Numbers were a little down on the last time the event was held in 2019 but the feedback from all who came along was very positive and reflected the hard work put in by the four clubs, the staff at the XIXth clubhouse, the LGC which again allowed the use of their grounds and car park and Kent Young Carers Organisation who coordinated the invitations and liaised with the families that attended. We sincerely hope that we will be able to host the event again next year and look forward to welcoming back our new friends and further extending the hand of Rotary friendship.
Channel Rotary Cycle Challenge Donates £3,200 to South Kent Mind
Channel Rotary’s very successful Charity Cycle Challenge on Romney Marsh in July has donated £3,200 to help South Kent MIND to develop its support for local people facing mental challenges. The cheque was presented by Channel Rotary President Gary Calver to South Kent MIND CEO Simon Dolby at SK Mind’s premises in Mill Bay, Folkestone.
President Gary Calver said:
“I am very pleased to present a cheque for £3,200 to South Kent Mind from the monies raised by the recent Cycle Challenge organised by Channel Rotary Club. South Kent Mind has supported the residents of Folkestone and Hythe for over 30 years. The Covid pandemic has had a major effect on mental health, both directly and indirectly. Channel Rotary is very pleased to contribute to the work of SK Mind in supporting local residents and look forward to working on future projects together.”
In response, Simon Dolby, CEO of South Kent Mind said:
“We are so grateful to Channel Rotary. The funds from the Cycle Challenge will help us to support people in Folkestone who are trying to re-connect with life after being isolated through lockdown. For people suffering from anxiety and depression this has been a particularly tough time, and the workshops and counselling we are able to provide thanks to Channel Rotary will be immediately put to good use.”
Anushka Sharp St Augustine’s RC Primary School In Hythe Wins Rotary Art Competition
The four local Rotary Clubs (Channel, Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh) are delighted to announce that Anushka Sharp (age 9) has won first prize in the Junior Section of our annual Rotary Young Artist Competition and come runner-up in Rotary’s much larger South East District competition.
Anushka is a pupil at St Augustine’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Hythe and loves painting. This is a great achievement when you consider that there are 72 Rotary Clubs in our District (Kent, Sussex, South East London and Gibraltar) all closely associated with hundreds of primary schools. Over the years, local schools have had a strong record of success in these District and National Rotary competitions.
The theme of this year’s Young Artist competition was “Wild Nature” and Anushka produced an outstanding painting of a hedgehog.
David Jarvis, Founder President of Channel Rotary (Folkestone) and organiser of the local competition presented her with a voucher for £30 and a painting kit beside the Military Canal in Hythe last week. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to make the presentation at a school assembly because of Covid restrictions.
Collen Hill, Past President of Hythe Rotary Club, attended the presentation and is arranging for Anushka’s winning entry and her Local and District prize certificates to be specially framed for her.
Sam Newton, Dylan Kendal and Kaspar Dart, all pupils from Sandgate Primary School in Folkestone, were also highly commended in the Local competition.
Congratulations to our prize winners and all our entrants.
Anushka Sharp receives her prizes from David Jarvis of Channel Rotary
Channel Rotary Club’s 12th Marsh Cycle Challenge A Great Success
350 riders from all over the South East weren’t deterred by the uninviting grey, wet weather from 7.30am on 4th July when they set out on their chosen 30, 50 or 70 mile circular routes. Aged from 9 to early 80’s, and including 2 penny farthings and 2 tandems, they tackled the quiet, fully marshalled roads through the picturesque Romney Marsh countryside.
Fortunately, the weather picked up and the returning riders were greeted by bright sunshine. The Ride has been based at The Star Inn at St Mary In The Marsh for the past 12 years and it was a pleasure to see so many people relaxing in The Star’s garden for a well-earned pint and a bite to eat. This wasn’t a race day but everyone received a souvenir medal and there were some creditable times despite the early weather.
Many of the riders had very personal reasons for taking part such as the memory of family and friends who had been victims of Covid-19. Together, they helped us to raise over £7,000 much needed funds for South Kent MIND and other local charities.The introduction of the 70 mile route proved very popular and drew many compliments from cyclists. We are keen to add a 100 mile route next year.
Our grateful thanks to our sponsors FAS Financial Services and the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, Star Inn landlady Terri and Channel Rotary partners, family and friends for all their invaluable support. Also, to Simon Dolby from South Kent MIND for his excellent video.
Channel Rotary’s New President Gary Calver
Malcolm Stewart Hands Presidency Over To Gary Calver
Channel Rotary’s new President is Dr Gary Calver who joined the Club 7 years ago and succeeded Dr Malcolm Stewart on 30th June. He was welcomed at the Club’s traditional Handover Night attended by over 70 people on Zoom. Dr Calver has lived in the area for nearly 35 years, mostly in Folkestone and more recently in Hythe and worked as a GP in Folkestone for 31 years before retiring as Senior Partner at Sandgate Road Surgery. He also had a career in medical politics sitting on the British Medical Association GP Committee and the Kent Local Medical Committee as well as involvement in many Health Authority bodies over many years. He will continue to Chair of the Cameron Fund which is the national GP Charity.
Gary and Sarah have been married for 38 years and have 3 married children and 2 granddaughters. He is an enthusiastic rather than talented golfer and enjoys long walks in the Kent countryside. He also belongs to a knowledgeable wine tasting group. He said:
“It is a great privilege to be President of Channel Rotary. The Club has achieved so much during its 40 years and has raised around £1 million for local and international causes. Our strength is in our friendship, commitment to the local community and our way of not taking ourselves too seriously. This was never more evident than over the extraordinary 18 months when Covid affected all our lives. Nevertheless, with outgoing President Malcolm Stewart’s leadership, the Club has thrived, embracing new technologies and innovations to ensure our weekly meetings and social events continued and to raise over £33,000 for charity and local good causes. I now intend to build on this incredible success in my Presidential year.”
Castle Hill Community School Prizewinner in Channel’s
Young Photographer Competition
Many congratulations to the Young Photographers at Castle Hill Community Primary School in Folkestone who won prizes in Channel Rotary’s competition. Each one has received a Certificate and cash award for their achievement.
First prize: Spencer Caldwell (Monkey Peas On A Tree) £25
Second prize Oliver Smith (Duck Drying Its Wings)) £10
Third prize (joint) Jack Smith, Teddy Blanche and Jaden Cottle £5 each
The entries were judged by well-known photographer Mrs Beatrice Auger. She particularly liked the first prize winner ‘Monkey Peas Growing in a Tree’ saying “Congratulations to Spencer Caldwell for thinking ‘outside the box’, searching for his photograph and getting into a good position to take the image. Well done.”Oliver Smith was also commended for his picture of Duck Drying Its Wings which “would not be easy to capture with such a sharp image”.
Mrs Auger commented that “Photography is a lovely hobby which can be enjoyed at any age. It helps you to see things in many different ways and makes us more aware of our surroundings both locally and more widely in the world. Thank you and well done to you all.
”The Prizes were presented by Dr Malcolm Stewart, President of Channel Rotary at a Zoom assembly involving 14 classes. Headteacher Peter Talbot thanked Channel Rotary for organising the competition and said how much the school valued its relationship with the Club.
The subject for next year’s competition will be ‘Folkestone – a seaside town’.
Channel Rotary Sponsors New Interact Club At Earlscliffe Sixth Form College in Folkestone
Channel Rotary President Malcom Stewart visited Earlscliffe Sixth Form College in Folkestone recently to formally recognise the formation of a new Interact Club based at the College.
It arose from a joint initiative last year when Head Teacher Joss Williams and Channel Rotary President Malcolm agreed to set up the new Club.
This was, in part, driven by Iulia Lambrino a student from Romania who, as the Club’s first President, has enthusiastically driven its formation and charitable work with the encouragement of her parents who are both Rotarians in Romania. Iulia has been ably supported by her leadership team in the College.
There are 22 students in the new Club from 8 different countries. Their recent charitable activities include providing Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children in Folkestone and donating £1,000 to Demelza House Children’s Hospice. The funds were raised by Club members undertaking sponsored activities in their home countries during lockdown.
Channel Rotary Provides Exciting Skywalk For Deserving Youngsters
Further information: Brian Banks, email@example.com More than a hundred pupils from some of Folkestone’s primary schools are being given a surprise treat by Channel Rotary this month – an exciting SkyWalk Adventure at Folkestone Sports Centre They are all young carers who look after a parent and/or sibling(s) when not attending school and so treats like this are rare.
Each youngster will be presented with a voucher for the recently opened, very popular SkyWalk where they can let off steam to their hearts content. There are many young carers in our community and all these very committed youngsters fully deserve some special attention. The arrangements have been made with school Head Teachers and each school will distribute the Skywalk vouchers to their youngsters, many before the schools break up on Friday.
In the words of one Head Teacher: “What a superb way for Channel Rotary to bring joy to some of our dedicated pupils whose often demanding home commitments are mostly unknown. It is much appreciated by everyone”.
Tessa Stickler, General Manager of Folkestone Sports Centre echoed these sentiments:“
We are delighted to support Channel Rotary’s treat of a SkyWalk session for all of these amazing young carers. Your fantastic work in the community is enabling these young people to enjoy this new adventure activity which I’m sure they will appreciate and enjoy”.
The Skywalk is a safe, fun, aerial course set 20ft up with 2 levels and 22 obstacles; and it is suitable for all ages over 1.2m tall and under 114kg. The experienced instructors provide briefings and safety equipment and are with people all the time in case help is needed.
Charity Golf Day Raises Over £8,500 For Local Charities
Folkestone Channel Rotary Club’s annual Golf Day has raised a magnificent £8,500 for deserving local charities and good causes.
Organiser Mike Simmonds thanked everyone most sincerely for their incredible support which has broken all records this year saying, “I`m delighted to tell you that between our 200 golfers, sponsors and donors over £8,500 has been raised all of which will be distributed to small, less well known, local charities and good causes whose fund-raising efforts have been very badly affected by Covid-19. These are the unsung heroes and support for them is priceless. My grateful thanks to all our players, sponsors, donors, Sene Valley Golf Club and staff, and Channel Rotary members and partners. Our players have had a wonderful day but the real winners are the small, local charities and good causes”
Channel Rotary President Malcolm Stewart said, “This has been a wonderful day with all our players enjoying their golf and raising a record sum of money to help our local community.”
Golfers from all over the South East enjoyed their day despite the showery rain and wind at Sene Valley Golf Club, Hythe with its panoramic views over the Channel. The course was in good condition and the greens ran true although slow after overnight rain. During their rounds, the golfers had the pleasure of Covid compliant food and drinks at the Half Way House and were able to relax in comfort on the Club House patio after finishing their round. As a permanent reminder of a great day, each team of four had their photograph taken on the first tee both with their face masks on and off before they teed off. This is a friendly event and some golfers have played every year since it started nearly 20 years ago.
Men’s Team Winners Clark, Harris, Calver & Carling
Mixed Team Winners Brouwer, Potter, Hinds & Hinds
Ladies Team Winners Dicks, Lloyd, Ellis & Price
Individual Winner Men Ross Savage
Runner up Chris Clark
Individual Winner Ladies Lisa Brouwer
Runner up Linda Dicks
Commanding Officer Of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Joins Channel Rotary
Channel Rotary is proud to announce that Lieutenant Colonel Edd Oldfield QCVS, Commanding Officer of the Ist Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, has joined Channel Rotary as an Honorary Member. The induction took place at Sir John Moore Barracks, Folkestone on 28th April. Lt Colonel Oldfield was appointed CO of 1RGR in August 2020 and has wide experience in various operational theatres including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Sierra Leonne and Northern Ireland.
Inducting Lieutenant Colonel Oldfield, Malcolm Stewart President of Channel Rotary said:
“We’re delighted that Lieutenant Colonel Oldfield is joining Channel Rotary. He continues a tradition dating back to the early 2000’s that the resident Commanding Officer of ‘the Gurkhas’ has joined our Club and we have enjoyed a close and mutually supportive relationship which has benefitted the Shepway community and various community projects in Nepal. Many local residents will remember seeing Gurkha soldiers taking part in our annual charity fund raising events. In recent years, Channel Rotary has supported the Nepal earthquake appeal, the Gurkha Welfare Trust and the Gurkha Memorial Fund’s work in Folkestone and in Nepal alongside its support for local charities including, in the past year, over £25,000 for good causes such as Age UK (Folkestone), Folkestone MIND, Shepway Sports Trust, local schools and many other smaller good causes.
Responding, Lt Colonel Oldfield said:
I am very pleased to join Channel Rotary Club and to be associated with its work in the community and look forward to building on the strong and lasting friendship between 1RGR and the Club.”
Hero Of The Week
We are pleased to let you know that the two Folkestone Rotary Clubs have been nominated as Hero Of The Week by BBC Radio Kent.
This is for our support to the two Folkestone Vaccination Centres with Joe Sullivan, Derek Harris and Bill Flavell of Channel Rotary and Terry-Cook Davies of Folkestone Rotary to the fore supported by a great team of Rotarians and local volunteer marshals.
Clap your hands for Folkestone Channel Rotary Club member Alan Myers!
- £3000 raised by his daily charity swims in the English Channel.
- 30th Anniversary of Alan’s major involvement in building the Channel Tunnel.
This week Alan finished 28 days of charity swims in the English Channel off Sandgate Beach near Folkestone and has raised £3000 for charity. His Rotary friends thought this was a great venture and have supported him throughout. He’s also been supported by a large number of worldwide followers on Facebook and Instagram from Australia to Canada via Greece and Sweden.
This hasn’t been a simple challenge. Alan’s been through all the sea conditions you can imagine from flat calm to 8ft seas, driving rain, howling winds and freezing temperatures – but he hasn’t missed a day. Nothing daunted he kept going, driven on by the thought of raising much needed funds for the Celia Blakey Cancer Care Unit at the William Harvey Hospital (where his wife and several Channel Rotary members have received excellent care) and local Channel Rotary charities.
Tuesday 1 st December was also a memorable day for Alan as the 30th anniversary of the British and French drilling teams, breaking through in the Channel Tunnel. Alan was senior tunnelling manager and the second Brit through the hole to greet his French counterparts followed by the Secretary of State for Transport Sir Malcolm Rifkind. In his study he has a piece of rock broken off the very last piece that separated the UK and France. He gave that last piece to Margaret Thatcher who had just resigned as Prime Minister. It was, in all ways, a memorable day in world tunnelling history and some readers may have heard Alan recalling vivid memories on BBC Radio Kent on Tuesday afternoon.
Would he do the swim again? “Probably not” he says with a big grin. “It’s not been easy but it was all in a wonderful cause and the proceeds will be so helpful to our local charities when funds are very short due to Covid. It’s a strange thing – 30 years ago I was in the Tunnel deep under the English Channel and for the past month I’ve been swimming over it!”
Folkestone Channel Rotary Club Member Awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours
Channel Rotary is proud to announce that our member Derek Harris (left) has been awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours for his exceptional services to UK charities and charitable fundraising.
Said Channel Rotary President Bill Flavell:
“We are all delighted to hear of Derek’s award. For ten years he was Sales Director for Age UK, doubling the number of shops to 200 and greatly increasing their impact and contribution. Such was his commitment that, when he could have retired, he took on a similar role in the mental health charity Mind as a Director of Minds Matter Trading Activities. Mind provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health. In the seven years until he stepped down this month, the annual turnover of the retail shops had effectively doubled underhis stewardship
“Derek joined Channel Rotary in 2001 and was our President in 2009/10. He has also held other senior responsibilities including directing our popular annual Santa Run. Throughout, he has worked tirelessly for the Club and for the charities and good causes we support locally, nationally and internationally. He exemplifies in every way the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.”
2020 Folkestone Channel Triathlon
The third year of this event was another great success. This has now become a key event in the Folkestone calendar incorporating a sea swim from Sunny Sands beach, a cycle route from the town around the Alkham valley and a run along the sea front. All finishing at the magnificient harbour with the exciting developments on the harbour arm.