|(London, 25/07/03) Last night Betfair, the company revolutionising betting, hosted a fundraising dinner at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, in London for Mike Noel-Smith and Rob Abernethy, the two rowers who were recently rescued whilst trying to create a new world record by rowing the Indian Ocean from Australia to Africa in aid of the children’s charity, SPARKS.|
Over 200 people attended and guest speaker was ex-England and British Lion rugby international, Martin Bayfield. Bayfield also acted as an auctioneer for a number of impressive pieces of sporting memorabilia, including an oar used by the successful Great Britain gold medal coxless four at the Sydney Olympics and signed by the crew. Altogether a further £10,000 was raised on the night which will go towards the SPARKS-aided medical research project into the cause and prevention of septicaemia at the University of Portsmouth which is the specific cause supported by the two rowers.
Mark Davies, Director of Communications at Betfair who also m/c’d the event, said:
“The huge media attention the row has received has helped enable Betfair to put a further investment into Mike and Rob’s fundraising programme in the form of this dinner. We are delighted by the attendance and, particularly, by the extra funds raised. All in all it has been a very satisfactory conclusion to a very brave and worthy venture.”
As part of their wider programme of fundraising, Rob and Mike also recently shot a charity edition of TV show, Ready, Steady, Cook, which will go out in early September.