Alex Jones joins forces with mums to take on ‘The Mother of All Challenges’ for Sport Relief 2018

22nd February 2018

  • The One Show’s Alex Jones will be taking on the epic challenge alongside four inspirational mums to help raise awareness of maternal health and fundraise for Sport Relief 2018

  • Launching on Mother’s Day, the challenge takes place across six days (11th – 16th March) and will see the group battle freezing temperatures, agonizing blisters and challenges they never thought they’d face – all in support of Sport Relief

  • Follow their journey on The One Show every night from 12th March, 7pm on BBC One

The One Show presenter, Alex Jones, will be taking on another monumental challenge this Sport Relief – but this time, she won’t be alone. Alex will be joined by four inspiring mums from around the country as together they travel across the UK for a relentless schedule of swimming, hiking, cycling, caving and running.

The Mother of All Challenges for Sport Relief, will see the team push themselves to the limit as they face a series of five gruelling challenges across six days - including swimming in Loch Ness, cycling through the Lake District and coastal running in Wales.

The challenge will raise money to help vulnerable people in the UK and across the world to live happier, healthier and safer lives as well as raise awareness of maternal health issues. It is one of the causes funded by Sport Relief money and something close to the group’s hearts as each of the four mums have experienced their own maternal health issues.

The four mums are:

  • Amal Hassan, 31, from London. Amal is a trained doctor specializing in Sports Medicine.

  • Debbie Williams, 50, from Bristol. Debbie is a support worker for adults with learning difficulties.

  • Jodi Dowse, 28, from Bristol. Jodi works at BlueBell, a charity providing emotional wellbeing services to families during pregnancy and after birth.

  • Leigh McLean, 44, from Glasgow. Leigh works for a construction company.

Helping them on their way will be former Olympian, world-renowned sports scientist and physical activity expert Professor Greg Whyte OBE.

Starting at Loch Ness on Sunday 11th March – Mother’s Day – the team will brave the freezing cold as they swim a section of Scotland’s most famous loch. With the risk of hypothermia always in mind, the mums will be doing a relay swim, testing their bodies to the limit as they plunge into the treacherous lake with average temperatures of five degrees Celsius in March.

Day two on 12th March will see the team lace up their hiking boots as they try to conquer Helvellyn via Swirral Edge in the Lake District. This narrow ridge is not for the faint at heart. The mums will be dealing with the terror of standing on a narrow walkway with valleys falling away to either side. The gruelling mix of climbing and walking includes a daunting ascent of 870m and 800m descent.

The challenge shows no signs of slowing the following day, as Alex, Amal, Debbie, Jodi and Leigh will test their endurance; cycling up three of the Lake District’s toughest passes. This will include climbing up the Kirkstone Pass, following the edge of Windermere’s shore and up the very steep Hornister Pass and Newslands Pass.

Our mums will next travel to Alex’s home country of Wales, the setting for the next leg of the challenge on 15th March. Heading deep underground, they’ll crawl their way through tight passages and have to navigate a maze of dark caverns to make it out of Porth Yr Ogof cave in the Brecon Beacons. In normal weather conditions a dry rocky river bed leads up to the main entrance to the cave, but following rain this may quickly become a raging torrent as the Afon Mellte (the Lightning River) lives up to its name. A challenge not for the claustrophobic!

After their long and taxing week there is no let up on the final day of the challenge. Friday 16th March will culminate in, quite literally, a marathon finish. Our fearless mums will tackle a relay coastal run across the hilly Welsh coast, taking in clifftop views, secluded coves and wild landscapes. The test of endurance will finally end with a triumphant crossing over the finish line in Swansea.

Alex said:

“I have taken on challenges before, but this is a whole week’s worth of tests. Tackling them as part of a team of mums makes this the most special thing I have done for Sport Relief. It will push us out of our comfort zones and really test us physically, mentally and emotionally. I can’t wait to get started with these fantastic women.”

  • Alex, Amal, Debbie, Jodi and Leigh need the public’s support to keep them going on The Mother of All Challenges. Donate at in new window)

  • Inspired by this challenge? Whatever moves you, do it for Sport Relief.  Head to to find out how to get active and make a difference, including downloading the free app and joining the national Billion Steps Challenge.

Follow Alex and the mums on their journey by tuning in to The One Show each night on BBC One during the week of the challenge.



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About Comic Relief

Comic Relief is a UK charity which aim to create a just world, free from poverty – where everyone is safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion. That money has helped, and is helping, people living incredible tough lives, both here at home in the UK and across the world.

For information about Comic Relief and the work it carries out, please visit

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