‘Epic adventure for AoS will push me to the limit’
On June 14, David Haze will set off across Loch Awe in the Scottish Highlands to begin an epic four-day world record attempt to raise money to support the Alliance of Sport. Here, he explains how his time in prison made him passionate about the impact sport can have within criminal justice.
It’s coming up to a year since my release from a second prison sentence and I can safely say sport has given me determination to turn my life around, learn about myself, push myself to the limit and test my boundaries.
I’m currently training towards a world record attempt for the quickest time stand-up paddleboarding across the biggest lakes in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales (Loch Awe, Lake Windermere, Lough Neah and Llyn Tegid, respectively) – a combined total of 100km – in the space of four days.
The Paddling 4 Change challenge has given me a purpose, especially in this weird post-Covid world I’ve stepped out into. When I’m out there on the lake at 4am, I’ll think back to my time inside and I’ll know I’m doing something really worthwhile. It makes me so determined not to go back to those old ways.
My mum used to send me paddleboarding magazines to read in prison. I’d look at them and think ‘one day I’ll be back out there paddling in that lake’.
I’ve always loved adventure. Soon after my release I paddled 50km along Poole Harbour to the Isle of Wight for Gone West and did a 100km walk in 24 hours for Tribe Freedom Foundation. When I finished, my first thought was, ‘What’s next?’
Even after my 4×4 Challenge, I want to do the National Three Peaks in July and am planning to climb Everest with another ex-prison resident and two prison officers to raise awareness of prison reform and rehabilitation. I’ve got Guinness World Record applications in to paddleboard across lakes in Ireland and Iceland. I want to do the biggest lake in every country in Europe. Why not?! I’m always looking for that next challenge and hurdle to overcome.
These epic challenges are borne out of a passion for sport as a tool for rehabilitation. I know from my experience that sport in prisons is vital. It is the only thing that keeps you going inside. Using sport as a tool to help people change their way of thinking and their lifestyles is so important.
It’s a cause I want to get behind and that’s why the Alliance of Sport’s mission resonated with me. I immediately wanted to get involved and promote their work.
My training regime for Paddling 4 Change currently consists of a 10-mile run each day from Monday to Thursday, and paddleboarding on Saturday and Sunday. Once the clocks change, I’ll be training on the water in the evenings too.
I fit my preparations around my job with a solar energy company, EmPower Energy. They have kindly pledged their support for my challenge by vowing to donate £50 to Paddling 4 Change when a customer signs up to their Tesla Energy Plan and refers a friend to receive £50 off their bill. Get the full details here.
You can sponsor David’s Paddling 4 Change challenge for the Alliance of Sport at his JustGiving page.