Preston personal trainer rows 1,000km for St Catherine’s Hospice

Posted on - 21st June, 2019 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, People, Preston News
Craig Williams
Craig Williams has rowed 1,000km to raise more than £1,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice

A Preston personal trainer spent the month of May rowing over two hours a day to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice.


Craig Williams’ efforts on an indoor rowing machine meant he covered 1,000km, which is the distance between Land’s End and Loch Lomond, and raised over £1,000.

The dad-of-two from Walton-le-Dale took on the challenge after his mother-in-law was cared for by St Catherine’s. He reached his target by rowing during the early mornings and evenings at home, and in between working with clients at DW Fitness First in Port Way.

Craig said: “I had to keep at it every day so was getting up at 5.30am some days and rowing at 10pm on others.

“I compete in the indoor rowing national championships so I do have an affiliation with the sport, but I’m used to doing short intervals at a very fast pace. Rowing for two-and-a-half hours completely goes against what I’m used to so it has been a tough challenge.

“It took a lot of planning to fit it all in around work and family commitments, and I didn’t have the opportunity to take my time as I wanted to do it within the month; I was really pushing myself quite hard. I listened to podcasts and audio books, and watched films to keep myself entertained.”

Craig’s mother-in-law, Trish Donaldson, was cared for at St Catherine’s in the summer of 2017 after being diagnosed with peritoneal cancer.

Craig said: “The care provided was fantastic. We visit The Mill café in St Catherine’s Park as a family and we enjoy walking around the grounds, and I wanted to do something more to support the hospice.

“I’ve done water rows in the past for charity, so I thought it would be a good idea to try indoor rowing for a long distance – rowing is slower than running, but it’s encouraging to see the miles you’ve covered on the map each day.”

Read more: Crazy golf, Blackburn Rovers and slime coming to Preston hospice annual fundraiser

Hayley Jackson, community engagement officer at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “Craig and the staff at DW Fitness First in Preston are really great supporters of our charity and we’re so grateful for the lengths they’re going to for our cause.

“A team from the gym is taking on our Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride on July 7, and they’re also hosting a Body Pump and Body Combat session in our summer marquee in St Catherine’s Park on 2 July to raise funds for the hospice.

“Craig has taken on this incredible personal challenge which has seen him determined to row between 30km and 50km every single day throughout May, which is a fantastic achievement. He’s raised just over £1,000 for St Catherine’s, which is amazing!

“We simply wouldn’t be able to continue offering our specialist palliative and end-of-life care to local people here at the hospice as well as in people’s own homes without the continued support of people like Craig and his colleagues – we rely on the fantastic fundraising efforts of our communities to generate a staggering £3.8m of our annual £5.6m running costs, so I’d like to say a very big ‘thank you’ to Craig for everything he’s done for us.”

To make a donation, visit Craig’s JustGiving page.

To find out more about fundraising for St Catherine’s Hospice, or joining in the 60-mile Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride or the Body Pump and Body Combat class, visit the St Catherine’s Hospice website.

Read more: Group of “fat middle-aged blokes” to cycle coast to coast for Preston baby charity

What do you think of Craig’s achievement? Have you benefited from the support at St Catherine’s? Let us know in the comments below.

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