A GROUP of Gwent gym users are hoping to row their way to thousands of pounds in fundraising this weekend, to help beat blood cancer.

Some 18 gym goers, known as The Blistering Rowers, are set to take on the Newbridge Charity Rowing Challenge at Newbridge Leisure Centre this Saturday to raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Those taking part in the indoor challenge will be rowing the equivalent distance of a half marathon distance on Concept 2 rowing machines, while at least five will be putting in a marathon effort by rowing 26.2 miles each.

Organiser and rower Helen Lodder said: “We managed to raise £3,500 last year, and we’re hoping to raise even more this year for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

“This is really just the start – it’s only the second year, but this rowing challenge has the potential to be rolled out at leisure centres and gyms across the UK and become a national event.”

Kate Giles, who has non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, will be one of those supporting the rowers this Saturday. She said: “This event is particularly poignant because it coincides with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research’s national Impact Day, and we’re encouraging people to come down on Saturday and show some support for those taking part.”

The Newbridge Charity Rowing Challenge begins at 9am tomorrow (sat). Supporters will be taking collections on the day and selling wristbands to raise funds. All are welcome to attend.

Those wishing to sponsor the team can do so online by visiting their Just Giving team page www.justgiving.com/teams/Blistering-Rowers.