May 2 2012 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Wednesday
GENTLE giant Ken Nowicki gave a charity appeal a lift when he flexed his muscles at the weekend.
The Dunblane-born athlete (23), Scotland’s strongest man, threw his weight behind the annual Bobath Dragon Boat Challenge during an awareness-raising event on the banks of Loch Lomond on Saturday, April 28.
Strathclyde University graduate Ken, who stands at 5’11’’ and tips the scales at 20 stones, is an enthusiastic supporter of the Bobath Scotland Cerebral Palsy Therapy Centre in Glasgow and urged teams to turn out in force for the centre’s annual appeal, a colourful fundraising regatta that will set sail from Balloch Castle Country Park on Saturday, June 9.
Ken was joined at Loch Lomond by eight-year-old identical twins Rachel and Louise Collie. Rachel, who lives with her family in Rutherglen, has cerebral palsy and has attended the Bobath Centre since the age of two.
Ken – who was runner-up in the 2011 UK’s Strongest Man contest and has also won junior strongman titles – said: “Bobath Scotland provides vital, holistic, therapy to hundreds of people across Scotland with cerebral palsy, and the charity makes such a difference to their lives and those of their families, friends and carers.
“The annual Bobath Dragon Boat Challenge is a fabulous day out, and it’s tremendous fun. It’s also an extremely important generator of funds for Bobath and plays a pivotal role in helping this group of dedicated therapists, fundraisers, staff, volunteers and supporters to continue to help people with cerebral palsy to realise their full potential.”
Crews of between 16 and 20 participants have been invited to register for the Chinese-style aquatic challenge which, last year, raised £40,000.
The event’s organisers hope that around 500 people will take part on the day, in front of an estimated 4000 spectators.
Bobath Scotland community fundraiser, Val Crawford, said: “Not only are the participants and their supporters extremely generous, the crowds have always dug deep to raise vital funds for Bobath Scotland at this annual event.
“We’d urge anyone looking for a great family day out to come along, soak up the atmosphere and join in the fun.”
Sponsorship and donations allow Bobath Scotland to offer hundreds of people with cerebral palsy unique therapy using techniques that help to improve posture, balance and interaction.
Dragon Boat teams must raise a minimum sponsorship total of £1000, and the entry fee per boat is £500. For further information call Val Crawford on 0141 352 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.