Coronavirus: Couple to row English Channel from living room

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Bella WilsonImage source, Bella Wilson
Image caption,
Sam and Bella had been training for a rowing competition which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic

A couple are gearing up to row the English Channel from their living room after a competition was cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bella Wilson and Sam Charman hope it will take them about three-and-a half hours to complete the 33km distance.

They had been in training for a competition but when it was cancelled due to coronavirus guidance, they wanted to put their work to good use.

Money raised from Sunday's challenge will be donated to The Trussel Trust.

"We row for Portishead Pilot Gig Club and were training to compete in the World Championships in May, but they were cancelled so we decided to do this instead," Bella, 32, said.

"It will be a mental challenge as much as a physical one as we will be doing the same thing constantly in the same place with no change of scenery."

Image source, Bella Wilson
Image caption,
The couple row for Portishead Pilot Gig Club where Sam, 27, recently won male rower of the year

The couple will take turns to row in 15-minute bursts to reach the distance at their home in Portishead.

Bella is a teacher at Broadoak Academy in Weston-super-Mare and says she chose The Trussel Trust to benefit after having first-hand experience of how many people needed to use a food bank daily.

"A lot of my pupils can't believe I am doing it. We know that we are raising money for a great cause and mouths will be fed and that's great motivation," she added.

The couple have set up a Justgiving page and have raised more than £895 - well in excess of their original £250 target.

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