Pensioner Peter paddles through Rugby on 400-mile test

Pictured: Peter Woolsey aged 70, as he arrived earlier today (Monday), at Hillmorton Locks, Rugby, on his charity fundraising journey from Kendle to Westminster.

Pictured: Peter Woolsey aged 70, as he arrived earlier today (Monday), at Hillmorton Locks, Rugby, on his charity fundraising journey from Kendle to Westminster.

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A PENSIONER is kayaking nearly 400 miles from Cumbria to London in just 16 days.

Peter Woolsey, who paddled through Hillmorton Locks on Monday lunchtime, will kayak through 173 locks and four tunnels to get to London Bridge

The 70-year-old, from Manchester, is retracing the journey he completed as a teenager 53 years ago.

He hopes to arrive at London Bridge on Sunday.

Peter, who runs a software distribution company, originally completed the same journey when he was 17 and has decided to take to on the challenge once again to celebrate his milestone birthday.

He’s hoping his 16-day voyage across England will inspire older people to consider taking up canoeing and kayaking as a way to stay fit and healthy.

Peter said: “As a youngster, I was fascinated by canals and kayaking, and it grew into a passion which has stayed with me throughout my life. Lately I’ve been developing my sea kayaking and water-skiing skills in the Baltic states, and I regularly canoe as part of my training.

“I’ve always felt that age shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your goals, and I have no plans to slow down as I grow older.”

Peter is hoping to water-ski the English Channel for my next challenge.

Peter added: “I want to raise as much money as possible to help Age UK to continue to provide vital health and wellbeing services, enabling older people to say well, have fun and enjoy later life.

“I also hope my journey will show that canoeing and kayaking is an enjoyable pursuit that people of all ages can enjoy – it would be wonderful to think I could inspire someone in later life to try an activity that’s a bit different.”

Paul Farthing, Director of Fundraising at Age UK, said: “Peter is taking on a significant challenge for Age UK, but has been training hard in preparation for his journey – and what better way to raise funds for the charity than by doing an activity he clearly enjoys so much?

“Funds raised through his voyage will help Age UK run services for older people across the country, including regular exercise sessions, dance classes and cookery courses.”

He said physical activity is one of the most effective ways of positively influencing our health in later life and can help ensure older people can continue to live at home independently, so anyone who supports Peter’s challenge will be helping even more people make the most of life.”

To donate to Peter’s kayak challenge visit www.justgiving.com/peterskayaktrip.