Saturday, April 1, 2017

Champions one and all

Well, that was quite a week. I returned from Israel yesterday after the privilege of taking part in 2017's Champions of the Flyway, and a privilege it really was. Most importantly, we met and then smashed our fundraising target, raising more than £4,200 for the cause, thanks to the generosity of friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers. Most gratifyingly, a total of 164 supporters donated to our total - an amazing number, and the reason why we were able to raise so much in absence of corporate sponsorship, big optics company support or the like. I'm truly humbled by the response, and by the cause as a whole: as of race day, the combined total was over £51,000, all of which goes straight to funding the amazing initiatives of Doga Derneği to combat the illegal killing of countless migratory birds through Turkey.

There'll be a more substantial overview (as well as a good few bird-related posts) of the week to follow anon, but for now, a quick name-check for a few good folk before I forget: to my fellow team members Dawn and Mike, strangers until a couple of days before the race but great company and firm friends beyond it; to Birdwatch and Birdguides, the fine organs who asked us to represent them, and staunch supporters of COTF since the beginning; to Jonathan, Dan, Meidad, Itai, Noam and all the team behind the event (what a genuinely lovely, inspiring bunch you are); to my man Yoav for spiritual and professional support (next time brother); and to the other teams whom it was a privilege to share the playing field with - there are too many new friends, brothers and sisters to mention (for now) but you know who you are and you know what I'm talking about.