Kayaker's marathon paddle raises money for brain injury charity

By Patrick Edwards in Local People

A BRECON man who suffered head injuries as a child has paddled a kayak from Brecon to Pontymoile, near Pontypool, to raise money for a brain injuries charity.

Alex Nolan’s amazing effort was timed to help raise awareness of National Brain Injury Week (May 8-14).

On the way out Alex covered the 35-mile trip to Pontymoile in an amazing 6-7 hours but decided to spread the return trip over three days as the outward trip was ’so exhausting’.

Alex, who was hit by a car when he was six years old and suffered brain injuries as a result, has carried out several fundraising stunts to raise awareness of how many people with brain injuries are able to overcome adversity and live fulfilling and active lives.

Alex, who is now 28, has styled himself as ’Lord Alexander Nolan’ and over the years has attempted stunts as bizarre as ’extreme ironing’, a cult sport which challenges participants to take an ironing board to far-flung locations, such as mountain summits, to do some ironing.

Alex has even taken a board to the summit of Pen y Fan, where he ironed his Herefordshire Headway tee-shirt.

After completing his paddle along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, Alex said: "It was really hard work but a great challenge. I owe a lot to David Hope from Brecon Canoe Club who was able to help me out with a kayak, while the Paralympian Fran Bateman gave me some rowing tips."

Alex raised £100 from his kayaking journey but says this should rise to about £150 as he still has money to come in from several people who sponsored him.

Anyone who would like to make a donation in recognition of Alex’s achievement or wishes to find out more about National Brain Injury Week can do so by contacting Herefordshire Headway by visiting www.herefordshire-headway.co.uk or calling 01432 761000.

Alex paddled a sea kayak, which has a chine hull and is owned by a member of Brecon Paddlers Canoe Club. He was supported during his paddle by paddlers from the Laid Back Launchers section of Brecon Canoe Club.