Bleddyn Jones from Aberystwyth rowed over 200,000 metres in 24 hours raising in excess of £8,000 for Wales Air Ambulance after sadly losing his son, Ned. 

Bleddyn recalls his experiences: “My five-year-old son Ned, sadly lost his life after a car accident in March 2016. Wales Air Ambulance attended the scene but sadly his life could not be saved. 

“Since then I have been wanting to do something to remember him and demonstrate my love for my family, my wife Sharon and our other two sons Tomi and Cai.” 

After months of preparation, and a set-back in December 2018, Bleddyn took to the indoor rowing machine on January 11th, 2019.  

“I wanted to do something so decided to try and break the current 24-hour world record of 279,242 metres for my age group."

Rowing in all its forms – sea and indoor has been of great solace to me since the death of my son.” 

The whole community rallied behind Bleddyn with local schools and members of the Rugby club turning out to support his 24-hour challenge.  

“The whole of Ned’s school came down to support me with many people kindly deciding to row alongside, including through the night. I was completely astonished, some people had never rowed before, including one 10-year-old girl who clocked up 14,000 metres in two hours!” 

“The challenge wasn’t without its difficulties however, I remember hitting a wall at 1am when all my energy went. I felt unwell and couldn’t eat at all.” 

The Aberystwyth rower overcame adversity and despite slowing the pace to complete the challenge, 24 hours after beginning, a grand total of 275,168 metres had been completed. 

“I would like to say thank you to both the Aberystwyth Rowing Club and the WARU Unit at Aberystwyth University for their support. The donations and messages throughout the challenge were amazing along with the support of the people who came down during the row. 

“I would finally like to thank a friend a fellow rower Nick Gregory who has been with me all the way.” 

Wales Air Ambulance, Mid Wales Fundraising Manager Andrew Hall said: “What Bleddyn has achieved in 24 hours is truly incredible. It is very inspiring to see how he has turned such tragic circumstances into a positive outcome by raising over £8000 for us. We would like to thank the Jones family, and all their friends for getting together to support Bleddyn’s challenge. Their extremely generous donation will ensure we can continue to provide this essential service to the people of Wales 365 days a year.”