Blackpool 2016 begins with a bang!
The NFYFC Annual Convention 2016, sponsored by Massey Ferguson, is officially underway at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool. Thousands of Young Farmers descended upon the seaside town, ready for a weekend of fun, learning and achievement.
The 2016 event is being held in Blackpool for the 25th time, and promises to be the biggest and best Annual Convention ever!
And many Young Farmers took it upon themselves to walk, run and cycle to Blackpool to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Josh Fincham of Somerset FYFC and Will Dyer and Morris Burrough of Devon FYFC cycled from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Blackpool Tower. The team took just four days to complete the arduous 600 mile journey, raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The granddaughter of Somerset FYFC county president, James Bardwell, was born with the condition in 2015.
Josh said: "It was huge relief to see the tower. We had a bit of a slow start trying to get out of Paris. We only completed 15 miles in the first two hours, but we got there in the end. We also got a few tan lines on the way, but it was definitely worth it!"
A large of group of Lancashire Young Farmers walked a whopping 35 miles from their county office in Clitheroe to Blackpool – all dressed in cow onesies! The team completed their journey in just over 12 hours, raising money for MacMillan Cancer. One of Lancashire FYFC’s members was diagnosed with a very rare form of ovarian cancer earlier this year.
County chairman, James Oddie, said: “I’m very proud of the team. It’s been a very long day and it felt like the tower was moving further and further away! We had a very blisters and bad knees, but the spirit of Young Farmers helped us through it.”
Cornwall FYFC continued their traditional WOTNOT challenge by cycling 350 miles to Blackpool. The team cycled 350 miles from NFYFC headquarters in Warwickshire to the Winter Gardens (via Scarborough) for MacMillan Cancer. County chair, Georgina Monk, lost her grandmother to cancer three years ago.
Georgina said: “It’s been a long week! My team have worked so hard climbing the hills. They hated me yesterday! Towards the end, everyone got a second wind. You could see the tower from about 15 miles out so it was go, go, go from there. But I’m so proud of them. It’s been awesome.
Team spirit saw Ashbourne YFC in Derbyshire complete their 100-mile relay run to Blackpool... and they celebrated their achievement in some style! The team were raising money for Epilepsy Research UK, after the sister of the club chairwoman, Kathryn Moorcroft, was diagnosed with the condition.
Kathryn said: “Manchester was a nightmare! I think we did an extra 20 miles getting around the diversions. But we made it which was the important thing! We’ve had a busy time training and working on our farms, and we’re all just ready to let our hair down!”
Emma Walton and Becky Slinger, from Catterick YFC in Yorkshire, walked an enormous 80 miles from Leyburn to Blackpool in just three and a half days. The girls were raising money for the Brain Tumour charity and for a local boy called Joshua Jessop, who has a muscle wasting disease.
Emma said: “We got a lot of blisters and it was quite emotional on one day, because I thought we wouldn’t get here. But it was just such a relief to see the tower. Our JustGiving page has already got about £800, and we’ve got quite a bit of cash, so hopefully we’ll raise about £1,000.”
Lamplugh YFC biked over 100 miles to Blackpool to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance. The team set off early on Thursday morning and arrived to a rapturous welcome from the queuing Young Farmers.
Martin Jarman, chairman of Lamplugh YFC: “I’d like to think we’ve raised over £1,000. We always support them. It’s our local charity and they are a big help. We had a couple of flat tyres, but that was about it. We can now relax, have a shower and enjoy yourselves. It’s going to be epic. I can’t wait.”
A full programme for 2016’s Annual Convention can be found here.