Cambs teacher to paddleboard to France and back to raise cash for PTSD charity
PUBLISHED: 11:57 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:31 17 July 2020
An outdoor sports instructor from Ely is gearing up to paddleboard to France and back again to raise money for a PTSD charity.
Samantha Rutt, who owns city-based Barefoot SUP paddleboarding school, will take on the mammoth challenge in September in aid of Blackdog Outdoors.
The 43-year-old will depart from Dungeness on the Kent coast and paddle to Boulogne in France before turning around and doing the journey all over again.
If Samantha, who was the first woman to paddle the Norfolk Wash, pulls it off, she will be the first person to make a return trip across The English Channel.
She said: “My aim is to highlight Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and PTSD and the effect this can have on adult survivors.
“PTSD is thankfully now being talked about a lot more and there are some amazing charities and people out there doing amazing work but we need to talk more.”
Samantha, also a qualified counsellor, quit her job as a close protection officer after 12 years to set up her school which she has ran for the last four years.
She added: “I think, with my knowledge around mental health, I understand the benefits of getting people out safely on the water and engaged in nature.
“Kneeling or standing on your board can give you a bit of space to just focus something that is often hard with PTSD and CPTSD.”
Paddleboarding participants are propelled by a swimming motion using their arms while lying, kneeling, or standing on a paddleboard or surfboard in the water.
Samantha has already raised more than £600 of her £2,000 target with donations pouring in from all over the country, from friends, family and supporters.
The cash raised for Blackdog Outdoors will cover overheads and supply equipment for the charity which takers sufferers paddleboarding free of charge.
Samantha added: “In 2018 I was the first woman to paddleboard the notorious Norfolk Wash unsupported and decided I needed a slightly bigger challenge for 2019.
“The English Channel had been done but no one had paddled to France and back again, so it seemed like a great idea.
“I was due to do it last year but because to bad weather and storms it was postponed, so I am scheduled to do it this September when we get a good weather window.”
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