Tough trek challenge has ‘raised the game’

Kenny Smith, second right, with Viv, Caela and Matt
Kenny Smith, second right, with Viv, Caela and Matt

AVID fundraiser Kenny Smith likes a challenge and has already raised more than £100,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

Ever keen to set the bar higher and higher, the award-winning fundraiser’s latest adventure is a 100-mile trek in four days.

Kenny's sister, Kathleen, who died in the autumn of 2014

Kenny's sister, Kathleen, who died in the autumn of 2014

Kenny, of St John’s Close, Aldingbourne, has gathered a team of 11 ‘amazing people’, to take part in the Kathleen Painter SDW Trek, the second challenge he has organised in his sister’s memory.

“It will be a tough few days, trekking from Winchester Cathedral to the seafront at Eastbourne, ending at the pier,” he said.

“I have 11 amazing people taking part, one of which is my sister-in-law, Michaela, who wanted to do something out of the ordinary to support the MS Trust. This will be her first major challenge.”

Kenny will lead the team of trekkers on a four-day hike along the South Downs Way, starting on Thursday, May 26.

Kenny on completing his Grand Canyon trek

Kenny on completing his Grand Canyon trek

“We will be covering an average of 25 miles a day and will be staying in B&B accommodation en route,” he explained.

“We are hoping to raise £3,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust – donations can be made via uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/kathleen-painter-challenge-2016.”

Kenny has been a fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust for many years and taken on many challenges, such as trekking the Sahara, climbing Kilimanjaro, cycling across Europe, running the London Marathon ten times, trekking the Grand Canyon and jumping 15,000ft from an aeroplane.

He also created the MS Circuit Challenge, now in its seventh year, which takes place at the Goodwood Motor Circuit on Sunday, May 15, this year.

“I have raised well over £100,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust and I intend to raise much much more,” said Kenny.

“Last year, I lead a team of 22, non-stop around the Isle Of Wight, so this year I felt I had to up the challenge.

“I decided I wanted to walk the 100-mile South Downs Way in four days, so I contacted some of my friends and asked if they would like to join me and help raise much-needed funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

“We will be taking on the tough challenge in memory of Kathleen. Training for this is simple – get your boots on and walk as much as you can!

“We are basically walking 25 miles most Sundays, all around West Sussex and even up in Hertfordshire, in all weathers.

“In April, we will up the training and will be walking 50 miles over the weekends, as well as shorter walks in the weekdays, too.

“Trekking for me doesn’t end there, as this autumn I am off to trek the Inca Trail in Peru and in 2017, I am off to trek Everest.”

Kenny’s sister, Kathleen, was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis in her early 20s.

He said: “After many years without any quality of life, she lost her battle and died in the autumn of 2014.

“Since then, I have raised my game and done a lot more fundraising and challenges in memory of Kathleen.”

MS Circuit Challenge at Goodwood Motor Circuit is a fun-filled family day out. The morning kicks off with a sponsored 50-mile cycle challenge and involves 21 laps of the famous 2.38-mile circuit. During the afternoon, people are invited to get around the circuit ‘by any means’, being as inventive as possible.

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