Skateboarder attempts charity feat

THE gruelling journey from Land's End to John O'Groats is a much-travelled route for fundraisers.But Suffolk teenager Ben Stiff is believed to be only the second person ever to attempt to travel the length of the land on a skateboard.

THE gruelling journey from Land's End to John O'Groats is a much-travelled route for fundraisers.

But Suffolk teenager Ben Stiff is believed to be only the second person ever to attempt to travel the length of the land on a skateboard.

The 17-year-old Great Cornard Upper School student is undertaking the epic feat to raise money for the stroke charity Corda after his classmate, Sophie Ledger, suffered a stroke and nearly died.

Ben will be using a specially-adapted skateboard for the journey, which covers nearly 1,000 miles and is expected to take more than a month.


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“As I nearly lost a very close friend of mine aged only 16 to a stroke this is a very personal thing to me and I am putting in all the effort I can to do all I can to help her,” he said.

“I will be doing something really special with my summer and raising money for a good cause. This will be quite personal to me - Sophie was in a critical condition and I want to support her.

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“It will be tough and I will be followed by a support vehicle to help pick me up if I fall off or if the board breaks.

“It will probably be harder than cycling the length of Britain and slightly easier than running it but I think the rewards will be greater.

“Doing the same thing day in, day out is tough on both mind and body but I will ride as much of it as possible.”

Ben believes the support of everyone around him will push him on through the steep hills and bad weather.

He even thinks the trip will be quite relaxing on the flat sections and down hills averaging a speed of around 15mph. The board he will be using has larger wheels and is longer so he can generate more power more efficiently.

Jennifer Jenks, chief executive of Corda, said: “What Ben is doing is wonderful it is right up our street.

“A stroke in your teenage years is extremely uncommon. We fund research into preventing this kind of thing and fundraisers' efforts are always warmly appreciated.”

If you want to support Ben or find out more about the work of Corda visit www.justgiving.com/boardfreebornfree

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