Plenty of celebrities are taking on new challenges for Sport Relief on Friday 23rd March. But they won’t go in unprepared – the likes of Sophie Raworth, Dan Walker and Helen Skelton have all been busy training for their sporting bouts. Here’s how they’ve been getting on…
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Six fearless celebrities will go head to head on the night to see who is the toughest of them all.
The line-up is:
Camilla Thurlow v Helen Skelton
Spencer Matthews v Wayne Bridge
Hannah Spearitt v Vanessa White
“Sport Relief has a habit of putting people out of their comfort zone and boxing is certainly a whole new world to me,” says Helen Skelton. “I find it hard to say no to Sport Relief because I’ve met so many people who are supported by Sport Relief-funded projects.”
Forget the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Races, it’s all about BBC v ITV for Sport Relief, with celebrities from both channels being trained by Steve Redgrave to take on Salford Quays.
“I’m a runner not a rower,” says Sophie Raworth during the gruelling training sessions. “I made my rowing debut a year ago in a celebrity race before the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Races and vowed never to get in a boat again. It was terrifying being pulled along the Thames at high speed by highly competitive Olympians.
“Somehow I’ve been talked into doing it all again for Sport Relief. But this time we have real opposition… ITV!”
“We’ve had one practice session. But my crew are a feisty bunch. What we lack in skill, we make up for in determination. And obviously we have to win this one!”
Dan Walker is desperate for victory, too. “With Charlotte Hawkins from Good Morning Britain in the other boat I don’t think Louise [Minchin] would allow me back on the sofa if I didn’t do the business for Team BBC.”
Football stars David Ginola, Alex Scott and Chris Kamara will be tackling the glitterball for Sport Relief when the trio take part in a Strictly Come Dancing challenge with professionals Karen Clifton, Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis.
They’ll all be performing to the same track — England’s 1990 World Cup anthem World in Motion by New Order. Look out, too, for John Barnes who’ll be performing his now legendary rap — but will he be persuaded to bust some moves on the dancefloor?
Cycling and running
Alex Jones and a team of four mums from across Britain will swim in Loch Ness, cycle through the Lake District and run across the Welsh coast. Leigh McLean, 44, from Glasgow is one of the teammates. “I’ve always loved watching the celebs really pushing themselves on Sport Relief. So when Alex requested mums to join her on a challenge, I thought, ‘I can do that!’ I also want to show my kids that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it. Don’t doubt yourself.”
Sport Relief is on Friday 23rd March at 7pm and 10.35pm on BBC1
Here’s how you can donate to Sport Relief
By text: You can text GIVE to 70205 to donate £5 or text GIVE to 70210 to donate £10. A full list of numbers for how to donate can be found here.
Online: You can donate any amount you want on the Sport Relief website, and pay by Pay Pal or debit/credit card.
By phone: Call 03457 910 910 to donate using your debit or credit card
By post: To donate by post, send in a cheque or postal order (made payable to either Red Nose Day or Sport Relief) and a giro slip if you have one to EY, PO Box 51543, London SE1 2UG