28 April 2023

#200for20 to launch at Round the Island Race

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is delighted to once again be the Official Race Charity of Round the Island Race in 2023.

We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, having been launched by Dame Ellen MacArthur in July 2003. Five young people went sailing that first summer and now almost 2,900 young people have been part of transformational sailing adventures.

Since becoming the Race charity in 2005, over £300,000 has been raised, enabling us to support hundreds of young people post-treatment. No fewer than 24 young people will once again be taking part in the Race across four boats this year.

To mark this special occasion, Race entrants are encouraged to make a positive difference in young people's lives this summer by joining our #200for20 Birthday Challenge, which is launching on the day of the Race, Saturday 1st July. Competitors and friends of the Race will be encouraged to raise £200 which will go towards supporting up to 750 young people this year - more than ever before - as they take the next steps after their cancer treatment.

Sonal sitting on the bow of a yacht during her Trust trip in 2022"Meeting people who have been in the same boat as you is great"

One of the young people is Sonal, who was first supported in 2021 after treatment for refractory Hodgkin lymphoma, which she was diagnosed with five years ago. She returned for a four-day sailing trip from East Cowes in 2022, and will sail as part of our Race crew this summer.

Reflecting on her time with the Trust, she said: "I was diagnosed just after I finished uni and went through three years of treatment. Then Covid came on the back of that. So it feels like life pushed pause on getting a job, starting a career, moving away. They're all things everyone else my age has been doing.

"I feel less alone at the Trust, it's easy to forget you're not the only one experiencing this. Meeting people who have been in the same boat as you is great. So is being in a situation where you're a little out of your comfort zone and being challenged like this, because it shows me that I can still do things. It gives you some confidence again."

"Thank you to the sailors..."

Frank Fletcher, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust CEO, said: "This year we launched our Ambitions 2023-25, with the aim of being accessible and inclusive to all young people who have a cancer diagnosis in the UK and ensuring every young person experiences belonging and improved mental wellbeing with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

"What we achieve in the next three years will lay the foundations for the next 20. Thank you to the sailors who will help us achieve this by taking part in this year's race."

Check out our JustGiving page for the Round the Island Race #200for20 challenge here. Visit our 200for20 page for ideas on how to fundraise and more information on how you can make a difference this summer.