Necton kayaker to paddle down River Dart in Devon for 24 hours in aid of Big C charity

A professional kayaker will be attempting to paddle down one of Britain's hardest white water rivers in aid the Big C charity.

Richard Brooks, 32, of Necton, near Swaffham, will be starting the gruelling challenge at 2pm on Friday, February 17 at the River Dart in Devon and will continue throughout the night.

He part owns Sue's Canoes, on the Norwich Road Industrial Estate in Watton, with his father Tony Brooks, 59, also of Necton.

His mother, Sue Brooks, 57, was diagnosed with cancer just over three years ago, and has undergone three courses of chemotherapy at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich.

Richard said: 'She is getting by and you wouldn't even know now that she is having treatment. She is positive.'

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As part of the challenge, he will continuously paddle down a 7km stretch of river which is grade four in difficulty - grade five is the hardest.

Once Richard has reached the bottom of the course he will be driven back up to the top of the river by friends and will start again.

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He said: 'I'm feeling pretty confident and relaxed. It is a lovely river.'

This will be the third year in a row that Richard has helped raise money for the Big C charity - he attempted the same challenge last year and raised �4,000, but said he was 'hampered' by foggy weather.

In 2010 his father paddled a circular loop from and to Great Yarmouth harbour via Lowestoft and the Broads over two days which raised �3,000.

Richard, who grew up in Watton and was educated at Wayland Community High School and the College of West Anglia in King's Lynn, started canoeing at 10-years-old and then progressed to white water rafting and kayaking when he was 20-years-old.

He came 100th place out of 150 competitors at the White Water Kayaking World Championships last year in Austria. He also coaches children and adults.

Donations can be made at the shop, which is Unit 7 of the Norwich Road Industrial Esate or by ringing Richard on 01953 885569.

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