Powered By Wind: Charity Crossing

Kiters and sailors join forces to raise funds for 3 charities

Most of us think twice before leaving our warm houses on a cold February day. For others, it is the opportunity to jump into icy cold waters to raise funds and awareness for charity.

Training ready for the main event!

This is what a group of kiteboarders and sailors will do in a few weeks. On the 4th of February 2012 and to mark World Cancer Day (subject to weather and wind conditions), Ilias Katirtsigianoglou (kiter), Spyridon Sofianos (sailor) and Sandrine Roussos Werner (co-founder of the Global Kiter Foundation) will be joined by a team of volunteers to cross 22 km of the south Evoikos Kolpos (Channel) in Greece to raise funds for charity. The crossing will take them from Marmari (Evia) across the channel to Loutsa. The team will be supported by volunteers from the Greek PWC Racing Association, the Nautical Club of Palaio Faliro and the Omada Aigaiou (Aegean Sailing Team) who will be assisting with jet skis, RIBS, sailing vessels, lifeguards and donations.

Most of the volunteers have experienced cancer directly or indirectly through their siblings. The concept of the crossing helped Ilias to overcome the challenge he was faced with when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in December 2009. It acted as his motivation to get better and to help others by sending a message of empowerment and helping to raise funds for worthwhile charities. Similarly Spyros is reaching out to family members to make a bold statement he is there for them. “If just one person receives our message and finds the necessary courage and support to fight then we have achieved enough”, they said, adding: “When we joined Global Kiter Foundation at one of their events and saw the effect their work had on people with disabilities we immediately felt we should work together on this challenge”.

The route the riders are hoping to take!

Sandrine Roussos Werner, co-founder of the Global Kiter Foundation and an integral part of the organization of this very special crossing, added: “This is a fantastic way to raise awareness for both cancer and people with a physical disability. We can all relate to this cause as we all know someone who is afflicted by one or the other. I am grateful to Ilias and Spyridon for giving us the opportunity to join forces and create a wonderful event.”

All funds raised for this crossing will be equally divided between three charities: Bestrong Greece, Medecins Sans Frontieres Greece and Global Kiter Foundation (GKF).

BeSTRONG Greece was founded in 2007 and is a non profit organisation that raises awareness, increases outreach and facilitates collaboration in an effort to improve the cancer experience.

Medecins Sans Frontieres was founded in 1971 and is an international humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. The Greek branch was created in 1990.

Global Kiter Foundation is a non-profit Foundation empowering and enabling people with physical disabilities to break barriers through sport and gives the underprivileged youth a new career opportunity, while taking actions to keep our environment clean. The Foundation was established in 2011.

This is the first crossing the team plans on doing. It is the precursor to a bigger crossing scheduled this summer which will include participants with a physical disability.

To support the charity crossing, please visit http://www.globalkiter.com/projects#4 and make a donation online. All donations will be equally divided between the 3 above mentioned charities.

Follow us on Facebook: Surfers 4 Life and Global Kiter Foundation.

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