Warwick councillor and fundraiser from Leamington Morrisons complete paddling challenge - with no previous kayaking experience

A fundraiser from Morrisons in Leamington teamed up with a Warwick councillor for a paddling challenge.

On September 17, Alex Pearson, community champion at Morrisons and Cllr Richard Edgington paddled to Warwick Castle in a kayak.

The duo were paddling in aid of Warwickshire Search and Rescue, starting off at Newbold Comyn and paddled up towards Offchurch through fishermen and reeds and overgrown areas and fallen trees.

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On September 17, Alex Pearson, community champion at Morrisons and Cllr Richard Edgington paddled to Warwick Castle in a kayak. Photo supplied

They were met by the High Sheriff of Warwickshire David Kelham who waved them off as they took on the challenge.

Neither of the pair had paddled in a kayak before and they completed more than seven miles and tackled the weirs and navigation of the river Leam and river Avon – this included Weirs in Jephson Gardens and Princes Drive

The duo were joined by team members from the search and rescue.

Alex said: "What a day and what an adventure.

On September 17, Alex Pearson, community champion at Morrisons and Cllr Richard Edgington paddled to Warwick Castle in a kayak. Photo supplied

“I was very nervous in the water and it took me time to calm down and move. But we did it.

"I did say I don't want to get wet but we did, we got very wet.

“The team does so much for us in Morrisons with our community engagement that I wanted to raise money for them.

"The fact we tackled obstacles in the water and overgrown trees was just a huge thing for me – as well as doing the two weirs.

Alex Pearson, community champion at Morrisons and Cllr Richard Edgington paddled to Warwick Castle to help raise money for Warwickshire Search and Rescue. Photo supplied

"I had amazing company with Richard and we did have a good laugh.

"I am proud of what we achieved and so happy we completed the Paddle to the Castle.

"A huge thank you to all who have donated so far. The event showed how dedicated they are and how training is so important.

Richard added: "I was delighted to take part in one of Alex's crazy fundraisers with such a dedicated group of people.

Alex Pearson, community champion at Morrisons, Cllr Richard Edgington and members of the Warwickshire Search and Rescue Team were set off on the challenge by the High Sheriff of Warwickshire David Kelham. Photo supplied

"I feel that it is so important to support such a dedicated and professional organisation.

"It made me realise even more goes into getting onto the front line locally. I am worried as Alex did say ‘what am I doing next year?’"

Tessa from Warwickshire Search and Rescue said: "I was delighted by the way Alex and Richard worked together in the boat.

"Given that neither of them had paddled before they settled down well and gained control of the boat. We undertook a journey that was well out of their comfort zone.

“The most impressive thing, though, was that they were up for anything, especially the two weir shoots.

"The second may not have gone the way we planned but the swim didn’t stop them getting back in the boat and even asking to go again.

"It takes courage to do things that scare you. They didn’t want to get wet, but they faced their fear and did it anyway.”

Alex is known for her fundraisers – in the past she has pedalled down the Grand Union Canal, walked up Snowdon, and completed charity walks.

When askes what's next, Alex said she will taking on a challenge on December 1, when she plans to take on a 17 mile walk for Evelyn's Gift.

To donate to Alex and Richard’s fundraising page go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alex-richard-paddletothecastle