CYCLING and golf enthusiast Stuart Grace is on par for his most ambitious fundraising feat yet.
The 60–year-old will raise money for the cardiac charity Wessex Heartbeat by playing 100 holes of golf and cycling 100 miles between six golf courses, in just one day.
Ashley-based Stuart will set off at 3am on Friday July 28 and cycle to six courses in Hampshire and Dorset.
Crane Valley Golf Club in Verwood will be the first of five 18 holes he will play.
Then it will be back on his bike, pedalling hard to play 18 holes at each of Highcliffe Castle, Barton-on-Sea, Walhampton (Lymington) and Stoneham in Southampton, before ending up at Romsey Golf Club for the last 10 holes by 10pm.
Father-of-three Stuart will be attempting the exhausting challenge to raise funds for Wessex Heartbeat, the charity which supports the Wessex Cardiac Centre at Southampton General Hospital.
He said: “During recent years I have lost some much loved friends to heart conditions and my mother also had a serious heart condition before she died.”
He continued: “Since setting up 25 years ago, Wessex Heartbeat has raised £15.8 million to fund vital equipment and research at the Wessex Cardiac Centre.
“The charity also provides accommodation to thousands of heart patients’ relatives at Heartbeat House, just a stone’s throw from the unit.
“So I want to do all I can to help the charity continue its great work.”
Stuart, a sailmaker is no stranger to challenges.
In 2009 he played 72 holes and cycled 72 miles to raise money for the Piam Brown Children’s Oncology Ward at Southampton Hospital.
He added: “This latest challenge will undoubtedly be the hardest thing I have ever done, and because of the length of it I will have to ride really hard between each course just to make it round.
“But I feel I can do it and I’m really hoping people will come forward, sponsor me and help me raise as much money as possible.”
Stuart’s brother Richard will be transporting his clubs, spare bikes, food, water and clothing around the 100 mile circuit.
He will also be assisted on the ride by Paralympian cycling champion Darren Kenny OBE, with support from former Southampton FC manager and Wessex Heartbeat Patron Laurie McMenemy MBE.
Laurie said: “What Stuart is attempting is remarkable, but I have no doubt he will do it. This man is not only as fit as a fiddle and a brilliant golfer, he has true determination and compassion for others.
“I know I speak for everyone at Wessex Heartbeat when I say we are absolutely brimming with admiration for him.”
Stuart can be sponsored in his challenge at: www.justgiving.com
(Photo from left to right: Darren Kenny, Stuart Grace, Laurie McMenemy)
To support Wessex Heartbeat with your own event, by taking a charity place in a marathon or cycle ride, or with an event of your own, please call: 023 8070 6095.
Information for editors
Wessex Heartbeat supports the work of the Wessex Cardiac Centre to provide the best care for patients with heart conditions. We provide the latest specialist equipment and major facilities for patients, relatives and staff to ensure the highest quality of care for 20,000 patients treated annually.