Sport Relief has announced the first brave celebrities who will battle extreme temperatures and camp on ice, taking on a 100-mile triathlon across a frozen lake in Mongolia to raise life-changing cash and tackle mental health stigma.
BBC Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw, The Saturdays’ Frankie Bridge, TV barrister and presenter Judge Rob Rinder and broadcaster Louise Minchin and will be embarking on the challenge of a lifetime and are now in training for Sport Relief: On Thin Ice. The four-day challenge, taking place later this month, will see participants attempt to cross Lake Khovsgol in North-Western Mongolia, which is one of 17 designated ‘ancient lakes’ in the world and more than one million years old.
They will be trekking, skating and cycling almost a marathon a day across the ice of Lake Khovsgol in freezing temperatures dropping as low as -35 degrees Celsius. All of the action will be filmed for a BBC One documentary which will air the week of Sport Relief, which is back on Friday 13th March.
Sport Relief: On Thin Ice will raise money to help improve life-changing mental health services and support many other projects tackling poverty and injustice, both in the UK and around the world.
Globally, one in four people will be affected by a mental health problem at some point in their lives, and each of these adventurers feels passionate about speaking out to help break the stigma surrounding the issue.
Nick Grimshaw said:
“I’m going to spend four days trekking 100 miles across a frozen lake in Mongolia…it’s not how I thought I would be kicking off the new year. I’m learning how to skate, which is hilarious, haven’t really tried it since I was a kid. It’s going to be a huge challenge out there but I know the rest of the team will give me the support I need to keep me going. Sport Relief raises money for so many amazing causes – one being mental health, which I think is really important.”
Frankie Bridge said:
“I know first-hand about how difficult struggling with your own mental health can be. One of the hardest parts is speaking out about it. I first started talking about it in 2012; it was the best thing I could have done, and it’s still something I deal with daily. This is why I wanted to take on this challenge for Sport Relief, to spark a conversation about mental health and let people know that they don’t have to go through anything alone. Travelling in subzero temperatures will be so, so hard, but I’m going to give it all that I’ve got, and I believe in myself – something I don’t know if I could have said eight years ago.”
Rob Rinder said:
“I’ve been told we’re camping on the ice which I thought meant having fun on skates and bicycles doing jazz hands, but apparently not! In all seriousness though, I have had mental health challenges over the years and the thing that I found to be the most powerful and lasting for me, is to set aside some time, every day, to talk to people, and to exercise. I am taking this on because I know how important the work Sport Relief supports is. Oh, and if there are fights over food or ice skating or whatever it is, they can come to me and I will issue my verdict.”
Louise Minchin said:
“Yes, I’ve done endurance sports before, but this is going to be a world away and a whole new level above anything I’ve ever attempted! I’m used to discussing the big topics on BBC Breakfast most mornings, so I’m thrilled to be part of a challenge with Sport Relief which aims to start a dialogue and help remove the stigma around mental health. It is an enormous global issue – one in four of us will experience mental health issues in our lifetime, and so many of these people don’t get the help they need.”
Money raised for Sport Relief will support people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and around the world. Find out how you can get involved here.