Richmond paddler risks it all in a bid to raise money and awareness for new Jamaican sports academy
On 11 March 2017 London born Jamaican kayaker, Tony Greyson-Newman, completed his epic kayaking challenge – 14 Rivers in 7 Days across Jamaica – to raise much needed funds for the Kingston Aquatic Sports Academy (KASA).
From the outset, the challenge demanded meticulous planning and preparation. From more than 100 potential rivers Tony created a final shortlist of just 14 – each had its own unique characteristics and required specialist support and equipment to be flown to Jamaica.
The first of the 14 rivers was the Rio Cobre, in the parish of St Catherine. Family, friends and passers-by lined the banks of the river to show their support and were thrilled to watch Tony flying down the river, expertly navigating rapids, deep water, boulders, crocodiles and even the mystical mermaids and creatures, supposedly lurking beneath the fast-flowing waters…
Tony was filled trepidation and felt anxious as approached technically complex sections of the river, but coach and experienced international racer, Peter Quibell, shouted words of wisdom from the sidelines, guiding him safely through treacherous and difficult descents.
The adventure continued for Tony as he paddled the remaining rivers on the island: Milk River, Alligator Pond, Black River, Seven Mile Beach, Cabaritta River, Salt River, Great River, Martha Brae, White Water, Rio Nuevo, Johnson Morant River. Tony successfully completed his journey at the location for KASA in Kingston Harbour, Downtown Kingston.
During their time in Jamaica Tony and his team were shown tremendous support and enthusiasm for the new academy, especially from local islanders. One youngster (pictured) even took to the water!
As well as fundraising for KASA and raising the profile of kayaking in Jamaica, Tony was also trying to identify which of the country’s rivers was most suitable for hosting an international river race.
Tony raised just over £1000 – about 5% of his overall fundraising target – from the challenge. Donations are still being gratefully received, but the money raised so far will help purchase one or two competition boats, to be used on the island. If you’d like to donate to the project, or find out more visit: www.kingstonaquatics.org
Tony would like to thank his entire support team:
Sonia Greyson-Newman (Manager)
Leon McNeil (co organiser and President of the Jamaica Kayak and Canoe Federation)
Peter Quibell (Support Coach and First Aid)
Wes Moses (Project Co-ordinator)
Corene Hippolyte-Newman (PR Manger)
Marcus-Hippolyte-Newman (Support Assistant and Cameraman)
Beverly Stephens (Transportation Co-Ordinator)
Tony would also like to thank the Jamaica Tourist Board (Jamaica Sport), the Victoria Mutual Group, Reggae Rollers, Richmond Canoe Club, his friends, family, online supporters and donators, and of course the people of Jamaica for helping him complete this incredible challenge.
If you’d like to get involved, donate or find out more about Tony, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org