GET DRASTIC WITH PLASTIC: Kayaker Dan's a real inspiration

A Seahouses dad who paddled the length of Britain has been helping to inspire local children.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 1:00 pm
Dan Smith with pupils at Seahouses Primary School.

Dan Smith raised more than £26,000 for the Royal British Legion by kayaking more than 900 miles from the Scottish Highlands to West Sussex in 60 days.

Dan called in to Seahouses Primary school to share his inspirational message of perseverance and determination with the pupils.

Get Drastic With Plastic, a Northumberland Gazette environmental campaign.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

To support their ASPIRE curriculum and an ongoing project focusing on the impact of plastic pollution on the environment, the children devised and asked Dan a series of questions relating to his challenging experience.

Headteacher Vickie Allen said: “As a school, we hold a core set of values that we hope our children will aspire towards.

“Perseverance, motivation and a positive attitude are so important in many walks of life. Dan, as a father to two of our pupils, is such a wonderful role model for all of our pupils.”

Year 5 pupil Nathan said: “I so admire Dan’s perseverance and I hope to be able to achieve something that makes a real difference to other people like he has.

“Dan didn’t give up. It was such a tough challenge and he saw it through. I want to be like that.”

Dan served in the British Army for 14 years, completing military tours of Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

He took on the challenge, dubbed the Paddle of Britain, to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

He started in the Scottish Highlands last August, camping by night and kayaking through iconic locations including Edinburgh, Manchester and London, before completing his challenge in Littlehampton, West Sussex, in October.

It was first time anyone had attempted to kayak inland the full length of Great Britain.

After completing the epic journey, Dan said: “Completing the Paddle is one of my proudest achievements – going through a unique endurance challenge was a huge goal.”