Despite battling against one of the wettest summers on record, fundraiser Darren Leader has completed the 220 mile Severn Way Walk challenge to raise money for the University of Gloucestershire’s award-winning Sport Malawi project.

The former student and current Admissions Officer for PGCE at the University of Gloucestershire completed the course in just seven days and three hours – 21 hours less than he had planned. Darren raised £600 which will help fund the University-led project which uses sport to reach and educate people in Malawi on issues of gender equality, poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The route followed the River Severn from its source at Plynlimon, Wales to the mouth of the Severn at Bristol, England. Darren, who lives in Brockworth, Gloucester, said: “Apart from the rain and the blisters it was a really enjoyable walk, the scenery was fantastic and the locals were friendly and helpful. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored me – it will help to support a fantastic project.”

Helen Pearson, Director of Development & Alumni Relations at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and Darren is a great inspiration to others who are thinking of taking part in a challenge-of-a-life-time. The Sport Malawi project is funded entirely from voluntary donations and we are delighted that Darren chose to support the initiative, especially as our partnership with Malawi continues to strengthen following their pre-Olympic stay in the county.”

The innovative Sport Malawi project recently secured gold at the prestigious 2012 games-inspired Podium Awards, for the British Council Award for Innovative International Collaboration, from the Further and Higher Education Unit for the 2012 Games.

In July, a team of staff and students set-off on the annual four-week expedition to deliver multi-sports workshops and coaching sessions to more than 500 people via the education of local organisations, teachers and church leaders in Malawi.

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Also, see Darren’s video diary

Source: University of Gloucestershire