Annual 100km Rowathon for Isabel Hospice

HSP's Annual 100km Charity Rowathon 2024!

On Thursday 1st February 2024, the Herts Sport and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP) team took part in a 100km Rowathon challenge to raise money for Isabel Hospice, a local charity based in Hertfordshire that provides free palliative care to patients and their families.

The event was launched by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Quintin McKellar who, just before 7.30am rowed for a highly impressive 10km in an astonishing time of 41 minutes. With this impressive score, the challenge of ‘Who can beat the VC’ came alight and was absorbed by members of staff with several attempts to beat this impressive result. In addition to this challenge, there were several other challenges to encourage participation: ‘Who can row 100m the fastest’, ‘Who can row for the longest time’ and ‘Who can row the furthest’.

Not only did we hit the distance target of 100km just before lunchtime, but our original goal was to row from London to Dover with a distance of 120km. This was competed at 1pm. The next goal was to row to Calais, which is 189km away and this was reached at 4pm. The decision to row to Dover then to Calais was based on the journey of heading to the Paris 2024 Olympics. With only an hour to go, we decided to row even further and reach 200km, accomplished shortly after 5pm. From 7.30am to 5.00pm, the total distance rowed by the team and members of the public was a HSP first of 201.2km.

In addition to hitting our distance goal, the HSP team and members of the public donated £1,284.20 to Isabel Hospice, exceeding the original £1,000 target. A spokesperson for the charity, Claire Melinte said “We are thrilled that HSP chose to do their Rowathon for Isabel Hospice this year! Our services cost us £7 million per year so donations like this are invaluable to help keep us supporting as many people as possible. Thank you so much to everyone involved and well done for organising such a successful event!”. Whilst the event organiser, Alex Spelman said “We are thrilled with the outcome of the Rowathon and forever grateful to the staff at HSP, the Herts Sports Village, UH colleagues, UH students and members of the public who participated and supported this event and donated to this great cause. At HSP we are passionate about sport and physical activity and how this enhances the lives of our residents. The Rowathon not only allowed us to raise funds for a good cause but allowed us to raise the profile of what we do. I must thank the Vice Chancellor for his support on this annual event and his encouragement to the UH community to help reach our targets. Here’s to the (hopeful) 200km Rowathon next year!”

For further information, please contact Alex Spelman at the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership via email on



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