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As well as the huge achievement of completing the sponsored row, staff and pupils have also been involved in their own charity events.  These include:

  1. The Smalman Smiths’s transatlantic rowing challenge 2011-12
  2. Issy and Sophie’s ergo challenge
  3. Toby’s ergo marathon

Following the stillbirth of a close family friend’s baby, he decided to seek sponsors to help Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, setting up a JustGiving page for his family & friends to donate.

Unfortunately, owing to circumstances beyond his control, he was unable to complete the row; the Boston Marathon was cancelled at the 11th hour owing to excessive weed growth on the river. Undaunted by this setback he decided to complete the 50km distance regardless, but on an ergo machine. Instead of heading off to Lincolnshire for the weekend, he got up early on Sunday morning and headed for the gym.

Starting at 9:30, he rowed the first 10km at a blistering pace. After a couple of minutes’ break to take on more fuel he set off for the second 10km, still keeping up a fast pace. Each subsequent 10km took slightly longer, as did the stops in between, but he finally ‘crossed the finish line’ in 3hrs 38mins, plus stops; a time which may well have broken the official on-the-water J16.1x record of 4:09:34! His average 500m split for the entire 50km was an impressive 2mins 11sec!   Toby raised over £1,300.

The Smalman Smith’s Transatlantic Rowing Challenge 2011-12

Richard and Helena Smalman-Smith covered 2,751 gruelling nautical miles to complete the world’s most difficult rowing race, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The Kingston Grammar School teacher and his wife, are only the fourth married couple to have finished the event, received a rapturous reception when they returned to KGS.

The Smalman-Smiths raised money for the homeless charity St Mungo’s and the Huntington’s Disease Association.  Enduring extreme weather conditions, navigation problems and the loss of a rudder on the journey, which finished near Barbados on Saturday, February 18.

A blog post written at the end of his journey read: “Finally, the horrendous waves, the fear, the feeling of being trapped, like a forgotten, long-shipwrecked near corpse floating in a tiny coffin, the heat, the boredom, the worries, the pain and the discomfort are all forgotten.  All I remember now is the fantastically easy last couple of days and the euphoria of the arrival. I can see now why so many ocean rowers tell us how great the whole experience is, often do it again and encourage others to try.”

DREAMED IT, DID IT! Crossing complete:

75 days, 1 hour, 29 minutes.

See for their blog.

Issy and Sophie’s Ergo Challenge

In 2012, Issy Johnson and Sophie Crocker helped co-ordinate over 70 participants - teachers and pupils - to row the length of the Thames on a massive 346K Ergo Challenge, raising over £1,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. You can congratulate them by heading over to their JustGiving page ( and adding a little bit to the pot.

Toby’s Ergo Marathon

In 2011, when J16 rower Toby Smith was offered the opportunity to take part in the Boston Marathon – a 50km race down the River Witham from Lincoln to Boston – he enthusiastically signed up, not just for the physical challenge, but for the opportunity to raise money for a good cause.