A small group of PUMA students, led by Mr Gardner and Ms Wrobel, walked from the Watlington to the Newbury Dojangs to raise funds for PUMA.
By Mr Adam Gardner II Degree
On Saturday 3rd October 2020 Ms Agnes Wrobel II Degree and I, the instructors of Nettlebed & Watlington PUMA Taekwondo, did a night walk to raise money for PUMA. We were joined by Julie Foster IV Degree and Mr Jamie Smewing I Degree, 2 students from Mr Spreadbury’s Taekwondo school in Reading, and Richard Williams a parent of a Watlington Taekwondo student.
The plan was to walk from Watlington Taekwondo to Newbury Taekwondo a distance of 26 miles. The walk started at 9 pm and the walkers were very pleased to be given a supportive send-off by some Watlington Taekwondo students and parents.
When the walk began it was raining hard and many of the roads and bridleways were already starting to flood. The weather did not improve, and some roads became impassable and alternative routes had to be taken. Luckily our chief navigator Richard Williams was able to ensure that we continued in the correct direction. At some points we had to walk through over a foot of water and our feet became wet rather quickly. The morale of the team remained high throughout and giving up was never an option.
The most testing part was the hill coming out of Goring passing the Bear public house which seemed to go on forever. It’s probably not that bad in good weather but after 15 miles and soaked to the skin it pushed us to the limit. It was around this point due to route recalculations we realised that we were going to end up doing many more miles than originally intended.
Despite the challenges we soldiered on and eventually reached Newbury Taekwondo at 7.50am. We were welcomed by Master Mark Ogborne VII Degree and Mr Tettmar VI Degree and also some Watlington, Newbury and Didcot Taekwondo students. A hot coffee and some dry clothes felt very good and even though this was an incredibly tough challenge fun was had by all. We eventually ended up walking 33.7 miles and have decided that we will definitely take up a similar challenge in the future. The next time though it will be during the day and hopefully rain free!
Thank you so much to all that have sponsored us so far, we are incredibly grateful. The JustGiving page is open until December and please donate if you can.