Decathlon comes to a climax and rounds the year off in style

CHALLENGE From left, Megan Nardini, William Smart and Kim Lawford, fundraiser for Wessex Cancer Trust, in the pool. Picture: Sarah Standing (124138-8728)
CHALLENGE From left, Megan Nardini, William Smart and Kim Lawford, fundraiser for Wessex Cancer Trust, in the pool. Picture: Sarah Standing (124138-8728)

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NOT content with just one sport, Bruce Elkins has raised thousands of pounds for charity by organising 10 different sporting events.

He started the 123 Decathlon Challenge to raise money for the Rainbow Centre, The Rose Road Association and The Wessex Cancer Trust.

Over 800 people, from five years old to 80, have taken part in the various sporting activities, including a sponsored walk, swim, run, athletics, cycling, table tennis, and a triathlon.

The last leg of the decathlon was held at Fareham Leisure Centre and over 50 people took to the water to swim 1,500m.

Bruce, 54, an accountancy director, from Totton, wanted to mark 2012 as the most historic sporting year.

He said: ‘It’s been a fantastic year, we’ve had the Olympics, the Jubilee, my daughter got married and we’ve raised nearly £80,000 for three good causes.’

The decathlon kicked off on his youngest daughter Rachel’s birthday Tuesday, February 21 and the last event took place on his eldest daughter Gemma’s birthday Thursday, December 20.

He said: ‘2012 was an important year but also an important number for me. We started on 21/02/2012 and then finished on 20/12/2012, both of my daughter’s birthdays. Everyone had to raise a minimum of £20.12 sponsorship and all the businesses that sponsored the individual events gave £2,012. There was a common theme throughout.’

His daughter Gemma took to the pool in Bristol on her 26th birthday to complete the swim at the same time as the group in Fareham.

Only two other people apart from Bruce have completed all 10 activities –Peter Harding and Russell Smart.

Kim Lawford from Wessex Cancer Trust completed nine of the 10 sports, only missing the track cycling.

Bruce said his favourite memory of the decathlon was playing table tennis doubles with the 78-year-old father Dennis. Together they reached the final at Barton Peveril College in Eastleigh, although they did not win.

He said ‘It’s all been great fun. I’ve loved working with the three charities and half of the staff at my company CW Fellowes have taken part. They’ve really got behind it, I’m so pleased there was such a good turn out.’

Bruce has no plans to sit still and is in training for a sponsored cycle across Austria in June. Donations can still be made via Bruce’s Just Giving page justgiving.com/BruceAElkins.