West Hampstead man travels to Bestival by triathlon to raise cash for sick children
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
While most music lovers heading to this year’s Bestival on the Isle of Wight will be taking a short ferry ride to the tiny island, one sports mad festival goer has set out to swim the choppy waters of the English Channel - all in the name of charity.
Steven Diffey, of West End Lane, West Hampstead, is planning to cycle, swim and run 120 miles to the popular music festival to raise money for children with life-threatening illnesses.
The 31-year-old, who works as a digital producer, has devised his very own triathlon that combines his two biggest passions - music and sport.
He will begin his gruelling journey at his house and finish at Bestival music festival in the middle of the Isle of Wight, aiming to complete the 120 mile route he has named Tri For Bestival in less than 24 hours.
Money raised through sponsorship will be donated to Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, a charity which grants the wishes of young people with life threatening illnesses, such as leukaemia.
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Mr Diffey said: “I can go to Bestival for a fun party weekend and it’s very easy for me and my mates to just buy a ticket.
“We are healthy and we can make our own way, but it is important not to lose sight of the fact that there are people out there that can’t get out and enjoy themselves and have fun with their families and friends.
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“The Make-A-Wish Foundation can remind those with life threatening conditions that there is more to life than surgery. They can meet a hero, be whisked off to Disneyland, or even go and watch Britain’s Got Talent.
“They give kids the opportunity to enjoy the summer, meet famous people and go see their favourite bands. They grant these children’s wishes, that means a lot to me.
“The foundation gives the kids a focus, so there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
The digital producer will cycle to the south coast, swim across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, and then run to Bestival at the centre of the island.
Mr Diffey has competed in triathlons for a number of years, having taken part in the renowned Iron Man competition last year, and is no stranger to the relentless task of training.
“In the summer when it’s warm I swim in Hampstead ponds, I run around Regent’s Park and I train in the gym in West Hampstead - north London is basically my gym,” he said.
“The swimming is the most daring aspect of it but also probably the most rewarding. When I can eventually stand up again on the other side of the water, that is going to be thrilling.”
Mr Diffey said he hopes to relax when he reaches the festival and find a massage parlour to unwind.
He will be completing Tri For Bestival on September 8 and will continue to promote his cause at the festival weekend, hoping to raise £2,500 in total.
Keep track of his progress on the TriForBestival Facebook page. Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/triforbestival.
To find out more about Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk