Rowing all the way from Felixtowe to the North Pole

Rowing with Santa at Grange Fitness and Performance Centre

Rowing with Santa at Grange Fitness and Performance Centre - Credit: Archant

Exercing yourself in support of a very good cause

Local businessman Matthew Brennan, of Grange Fitness and Performance Centre in Martlesham has come up with a unique fundraising idea to encourage clients and fellow businesses to raise money in support of CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.

The challenge, Row to Santa, will see staff, clients and members of the public take on a portion of the 4234,000 metres from Felixstowe to the North Pole without even leaving the gym - as they’ll all be using rowing machines.

Local entrepreneur and gym owner, Mr Brennan intends to reach the North Pole in time for Christmas and is inviting anyone who would like to contribute to this mammoth challenge to come to the Grange Fitness Centre in Martlesham and have a go.

Mr Brennan said of the challenge: “Currently we have had over 100 people take part including pupils from Farlingaye High School, but we need more as the North Pole is still a long way off.”

CLIC Sargent provides clinical, practical and emotional support to children and young people with cancer and their families. Cancer treatment for children is often gruelling and can start immediately, last as long as three years and take place many miles from home.

Row to Santa follows the success of Mr Brennan’s charity boxing event Double Trouble in October where business men and women went head to head in the ring for charity.

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Mr Brennan said of his commitment to fundraising: “Since I have had my own business we have been involved with fundraising for local charities and we hope this event will boost the £25,000 we have raised so far. I stumbled across CLIC Sargent a few months ago and was completely sold on its ethos and aims as a charity.”

Mr Brennan has set a fundraising target of £2,000, with each rower sponsoring their portion of the 4234,000 metres. There will be a special row evening taking place Friday November 14 for those keen to have a go.

Daisy Turner fundraising manager for Suffolk said: “We are thrilled that Matt has come up with such a unique fundraising idea and I hope lots of people will help to reach the North Pole in time for Christmas.

Last year, CLIC Sargent cared for 67 young cancer patients from Suffolk and distributed support grants to these families totalling over £11,000 which is why the support of Grange Fitness and other businesses is so important.”

If you would like to know more about Row to Santa or would like to get involved, please contact Grange Fitness: 01473 623277 or email: and visit the Just Giving page:

For more information on how you can help fundraise in East Anglia visit or contact