The owner of a local building company is taking on the daring challenge of water-skiing across the Wash from Skegness to Sheringham on Saturday, in order to raise funds for a former employee paralysed in a motorbike accident.
Fortunately, the challenge isn’t completely out of Dave King’s comfort zone, as when he is not running his building business, the 50-year-old, from Harrowby Lane, Grantham is a water-ski instructor at Tattershall Lakes, with 30 years’ experience.
However, the 26 miles across the Wash is by far the biggest distance he has ever attempted on open water, although he says: “It’s not the distance so much as the fact that there can be three foot swells.
“If I fall in 100 times I don’t care – I’ve told people they they can always sponsor me for everytime that I do!”
He is taking on the Wash’s waves to raise money for Dan Metcalfe-Hall, 26, who Dave employed as a bricklayer but is moreover a close friend. Dan was paralysed last June after a motorcycling accident at Edenham, and has since immersed himself in a range of disability sports, including the exhilirating experience of handcycling.
The money raised from Dave’s mammoth water-ski will go towards the cost of Dan’s equipment and travelling for training sessions, including those with the UK’s top British handcyclists after he caught their attention. Amongt his most recent achievements was completing the 60 mile Tour de Vale in Buckinghamshire, and cycling in the major Team Time Trial event at Silverstone.
“People need to know that this boy is going to be in the Paralympics,” adds Dave. “He only started in February and he is already training with the best.”
Dave had orginally set himself an even bigger task of water-skiing across the English Channel, but after ‘too much red tape’ given the amount of vessels he’d have to avoid, he decided instead upon the Wash. It follows the incredible £11,000 raised for Dan through a surprise night at Woody’s in Ancaster last year, organised by Dave, his wife Sam, family, friends and local businesses.
This has enabled Dan to compete in other sports too, winning archery and fencing gold medals and a silver in tennis, at this year’s Inter Spinal Unit Games. Moreover he has been spotted by GB’s Disability Shooting squad as they look to put together a team for the 2020 Paralympics.
Grateful for all the support he is receiving, Dan said: “It wouldn’t be possible for me to do any of this without the help and generosity of the people that sponsor me.”
The water-ski will begin at dawn on July 18. To sponsor Dave you can get a form by calling either himself on 07768 608861 or Dan on 07717 751734.