On Monday 28th February, Jordan will be saying goodbye to the warmth and comfort of the BBC Radio 1 studio he shares with his drivetime co-host Vick Hope and will be setting off in a single scull rowing boat, as he begins a relentless five-day journey, heaving himself along the country’s canals from London to reach his beloved hometown in the Northwest, Burnley.
Jordan will need to navigate the twists and turns backwards, as he rows upstream for eight hours a day, for five days straight, to conquer the 100 mile distance. As he battles the unpredictable British weather, freezing cold waters and aches and pains from non-stop rowing he will be tested like never before.
Jordan said: “Year in, year out Comic Relief transforms people’s lives, so to be a part of that in a small way is a huge privilege. Six weeks ago, when I was stood by the side of the River Thames, I thought ‘how hard can it be to row a boat?’. Trust me, it’s very hard.
“It took me seven attempts to pass my driving test so you can imagine how I’m feeling about navigating 100 miles of the canals to get to Burnley over five days solo! There have been times where I’ve thought that I won’t be able to do this and have felt quite overwhelmed. I know it will be so hard.
“Having said all that, I am also really excited. I’ve been putting my body through it and pushing myself as far as I can go in training. I am really proud to be doing this for Red Nose Day, I grew up watching it on TV and know it raises money for such an amazing charity that does fantastic work and supports a lot of young people.”
In preparation, Jordan has been undergoing intense training with Fulham Reach Rowing Club Trainer, Tracy Corbett, for the last six weeks. Jordan has been practising his rowing technique on the River Thames three times a week and has been put through a rigorous strength and conditioning programme.
Tracy Corbett said: “Rowing is one of the hardest sports to conquer both physically and mentally. The challenges ahead for Jordan are endless – he could encounter four seasons in one hour. Jordan will need to stay focused and be on top of his steering, so as not to crash into any moored vessels which could injure him or damage the boat. His spatial awareness will need to be on high alert as he will be rowing through narrow bridges, tight bends, and will need to avoid a lot of canal furniture!
“It is going to take a lot of mental strength and correct fuelling to get through all five challenge days, and he will endure muscle aches and joint soreness throughout his whole body.”
Jordan’s challenge will be broadcast live throughout the week on BBC Radio 1 (28th Feb – 4th March) including canalside broadcasts of Going Home with Vick and Jordan (3:30pm – 5.45pm) daily. The challenge attempt will be filmed for a special documentary due to air on BBC Three and iPlayer in March in the run up to Red Nose Day which returns on Friday 18th March.
Tracy, who will form part of Jordan’s support team throughout the challenge, added: “This would be a massive challenge for any seasoned rower, so given that Jordan has only been rowing for a short period of time, he is going to need all the positive thoughts and support to get him through the challenge. If there is any support you can give Jordan, by making a donation or sending him some love on Twitter – please do!”
Jordan has also been given advice and tips from Local Solutions, a project supported by Comic Relief, based in Liverpool which uses water sports to support young people experiencing homelessness or insecure housing in Liverpool. Steph, aged 19, attends the project and has been helping to keep Jordan motivated by sharing her own experience.
Steph said: “I love the water – it makes you forget about everything else when you’re out there. It’s like a break from everyday life and makes me feel calm and relaxed. The sessions give me motivation, goals and aspirations. A sense of purpose again. Local Solutions brought out the fire in me. They gave me my energy back”.
Money raised by Red Nose Day will support vital life changing work in the UK and around the world which includes tackling homelessness, domestic abuse, poverty and mental health problems.
To find out more and support Jordan, go to: comicrelief.com/rowinghome(opens in new window)