A ROWING club is getting into the competitive spirit to raise money for a new cancer centre.

The Brightlingsea Coastal Rowing Club is taking part in the annual Great River Race down the River Thames on September 9.

The gruelling race is 21.6 miles from London Docklands to Surrey and attracts more than 330 crews from all around the world.

Ed Contantine, who has been with the club for about three years, said: “Quite a few of our members have had either themselves or family treated in the cancer ward.

“One of the club members is also a nurse there so when it was suggested to fundraise for the Cancer Centre Campaign we unanimously felt it was the place to choose.”

They have been training to take part in the race for the Gazette-backed appeal, which hopes to raise £3.25 million to build a state-of- the-art cancer centre on the hospital site.

Sally Williams, another member of the club, said it was a cause close to their hearts.

She said: “My mum has also just been through treatment there, it’s on our minds that they need to bring the cancer unit together. It’s a charity that is known to us.”

She is not taking part in the race this year, but said training was going well. She said: “What they need to learn is how to switch seats as you need to take an extra rower.

“It’s quite intense, it will be a long race that will take between two and three hours and the boat never stops.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/brightlingsea-coastal-rowing-club.

The centre see the chemotherapy and haematology services brought next door to the radiotherapy unit.

The campaign has raised £2,490,792 so far and has £759,208 left to raise.

The Colchester Hospital Charity has got a team of 25 people from IT Fleet doing a skydive on October 1.

They are aiming to raise £7,500 between them.

To donate to the appeal, text Gaze11 £10 to 70070 or whatever amount readers wish to donate.

Sign up for fundraising events or donate money via the CoHoc website at cohoc.org.uk.