World record attempt is just the beginning for David…
David Haze’s paddle boarding world record-breaking attempt to raise money for the Alliance of Sport is just the start of a summer of epic personal sporting adventures.
David, who finished a second jail term in April 2020, is using sporting challenges as part of his process of rehabilitation and self-discovery – and to advocate for the transformational impact of sport on those who have experienced the Criminal Justice System.
On June 14, David is undertaking world record attempts for the quickest time stand-up paddle boarding across the longest lakes in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales (Loch Awe, Lake Windermere, Lough Neah and Llyn Tegid, respectively) – a combined total of 100km – and he’s attempting this gruelling challenge in just four days. He’s doing it to raise money for the Alliance of Sport. You can sponsor him here on his Just Giving page.
But a man of David’s insatiable appetite for adventure isn’t going to stop there. He is also planning to stand-up paddle board along the non-tidal section of the River Thames, from Lechlade to Teddington Lock, a distance of 208km. He is aiming for a time of 36 hours.
“It’s never been done before,” he says. “I’m told I’ll probably be denied access to carry on into the tidal Thames through central London because by then I’ll be sleep-deprived and the tide is quite dangerous. The chances of death are quite high.
“I find that quite exciting in terms of testing my boundaries, but I’ll start with the non-tidal Thames for the time being!” As if this weren’t enough, David is tackling the famous National Three Peaks walk on July 17 (scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon within 24 hours) and in August is planning a 100km walk (not to mention a planned expedition to Everest on 2023).
He is undertaking the Three Peaks challenge with five fellow ex-prison residents who, like himself, are working with Penal Reform Solutions.
David now works with them three days a week, helping capture the views and experiences of people within the Criminal Justice System, specifically around their mental health.
Working alongside HMI Inspectorate of Prisons and Probation, he is helping to gather evidence which ensures the voice of those within the CJS is heard. The full evidence base, when complete, will hopefully positively influence mental health policy and practice across the full range of justice-related agencies, including magistrates, the Crown Prosecution Service, probation and prison departments.
“I’ve spoken to some really interesting people so far,” reflects David. “Currently, people receive very little support until they reach probation. Right from the point of arrest, more needs to be put in place.
“What it all comes down to is being treated as an individual and a human. They just need respect. People would get through te system a lot better if they were treated with a bit of humanity.”
A reminder that David’s Just Giving page to raise funds for the Alliance of Sport – “a charity that is very close to my heart” – can be found here.