The Great Row: Help Cancer Research UK fundraise by showing your marathon boat skills

Mancunians are being urged to take part in an ‘oar-some’ fundraising challenge for Cancer Research UK.

Cancer Research UK has partnered up with Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race – to be held on March 24 this year – and the charity is encouraging people to cover 26.2 miles in stages or in one go anytime next month.

Better Leisure Centres across the UK are opening their doors and are giving participants free access every Friday in March for people to train for the event.

Andrew Hodge OBE, treble Olympic champion rower and Cancer Research supporter, said: “Rowing has been a passion of mine since university and it’s been amazing to see the increased interest in the sport.

“You don’t need to be an at Olympic level to get involved in The Great Row, you can complete it in manageable chunks.

“What better incentive to get moving than raising money for Cancer Research UK’s work to beat cancer.”

Last year Cancer Research UK was able to spend more than an astonishing £26million in Manchester on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research, thanks to the generosity of its supporters.

Cancer Research are looking to raise well over last year’s total, but to do so they will need the support of Manchester.

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve never used a rowing machine before or you think you can power through a marathon in one go, you have the whole of March to complete it in your own time,” added Frances Milner, executive director of philanthropy and partnerships at Cancer Research UK.

To download a training plan and fundraising pack, visit: and to join the conversation, follow #PullTogether on Twitter. 

To find the nearest Better leisure centre to you, visit

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