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Preparing for the walk of a lifetime

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A BARISTA who is embarking on a 6,500-mile walk from St Malo to Beijing to raise money for a local mental-health charity is seeking support from Islanders and local businesses.

Sam Wood

The idea to walk half way around the world in order to raise money for Mind Jersey first occurred to Sam Wood (23) last year on World Mental Health Day.

He is appealing to Islanders and local businesses to help him to reach his goal of raising £20,000 for the charity.

He said that while any help would be appreciated, he was hoping that a local business would help to sponsor his journey that starts on the 1 May which he estimates could take up to 20 months.

Having previously struggled with his own mental health, Mr Wood said that he wanted to raise awareness about how common it was for feelings of sadness and despair to grow into something bigger.

‘I saw a post online on suicide statistics which I hadn’t been aware of before and after looking into the issue more, I realised how few people know how common a problem it is for people,’ Mr Wood said.

Despite having previously competed in ‘a couple of ultra-marathons’, the Highlands College graduate said his current training regime included trekking along the north coast with weights in a rucksack.

In addition to the physical preparations, the St Brelade resident said he was also seeking to be coached by a sports psychologist on various coping methods used by long-distance athletes.

Mr Wood, who was born in Bolton, moved to Jersey with his parents when he was two and in his spare time he enjoys playing the guitar, mountaineering and boxing.

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His trek will see him walking through countries including Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan before reaching China.

‘I was initially planning on walking through Iran, but following recent events thought it best to change the route a bit and avoid it altogether,’ he added.

To donate to Mr Wood’s charity challenge, visit JustGiving.com and search for ‘6,500 mile walk from St Malo to Beijing’.

Krystle Higgins

By Krystle Higgins
Reporter

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