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Warren’s Ironman Challenge

This month we’re excited to feature Warren, our South African superstar fundraiser, who’s taking on a staggering 140-mile Ironman in September to raise £140k for Challengers. Let’s find out more about the man taking on this truly epic challenge…

Why are you fundraising for Challengers?

The reason I’m doing this Ironman is for my sister Jen and her little boy Andrew, who has a rare and severe form of epilepsy, autism, severe learning difficulties and behavioural challenges. When he got his diagnoses aged 2, it was devastating and I saw their lives change completely, but having Challengers there to help them has been incredible. I’ve seen first-hand how important Challengers is for families like theirs, so I want to help the charity to keep up their amazing work.

What difference does Challengers make to their lives?

Honestly, it’s priceless. Andrew has a great time playing with other children like him, and the family gets respite and a chance to do the things they can’t do when Andrew is with them. Even simple things like cooking dinner or going for a walk can be a real struggle because of his behaviour, and everything revolves around him and his needs. Jen has to sleep in the same room as Andrew every night just in case he has a seizure, so it’s 24/7 for her. It’s also very difficult for Andrew’s older brother Matthew, because he’s a young carer and it’s a lot for him to deal with. When Andrew goes to Challengers, Matthew can finally relax and enjoy spending time with his parents, which is hard to do otherwise.

What made you choose such an Ironman challenge?

I’ve always been active and training for and competing in various sport disciplines has provided me with many life lessons, both on and off the field. After moving to the UK with my wife and two daughters from Cape Town in 2016, my priority was to settle the family, build my career and our new life together. To be honest there wasn’t much time for me to get out and exercise, but I still had this burning desire to race my fourth Ironman to remind myself I’ve still got it! Training for an Ironman is honestly one of the most ‘selfish’ things I’ve done, and I’ve always ensured its ‘selfless’ and purpose driven, so I decided to pivot for purpose and take on this fundraising challenge – doing something which makes a real difference and helps to change lives.

What keeps you motivated in your training?

I wouldn’t be able to work full time and train 10-15 hours a week without the loving support of my wife and daughters who motivate me in whatever I do, but more than anything it’s knowing how many people will benefit from me raising this money. If ever I’m having a bad day, I think about the struggles that Challengers families go through every day and that keeps me going – knowing I’m doing this for them. Thinking of Andrew’s amazing smile is a great motivation too.

What would you say to anyone who’s thinking of donating?

Don’t think, just do it! I want to make every mile count, which is why I’ve set my target at £140,000. It’s a lot of money, but Challengers is such a great cause and a real lifeline for disabled children and families, and I hope people will see that and donate. Any amount you can give will make a big difference. If you’re a cyclist, runner or outdoor enthusiast and want to get ‘something back’ for donating, you can download the award winning Busby Premium app. Busby is on a mission to provide safety services to anyone performing an outdoor activity. It’s an amazing life-saving app which provides safety for all types of outdoor activities, ensuring people get help when they need it most, in the shortest amount of time. All it takes is 30 seconds of your time to download it, and Busby will donate £13.99 from every purchase directly to Challengers.

What an inspiring fundraiser! Warren will be completing his Ironman in Switzerland on 5th September 2021 and you can follow his training progress on Instagram @warren_couchman. If you’d like to help him reach his target you can donate on his Just Giving page. Best of luck Warren on behalf of everyone at Team Orange!