TWO former professional rugby players are calling for people to get involved in their rowing challenge to raise money for three good causes. 

Sam Blythe and Shane Kingsland, who both played for Exeter Chiefs, want people to help them hit their target of rowing the circumference of Britain – nearly 12,500 kilometres (7,723 miles) – on rowing machines during January.

Rowing A Million Metres Sam Blythe and Shane Kingsland. Photo c/o

Rowing A Million Metres Sam Blythe and Shane Kingsland. Photo c/o

Last year their Janurow challenge managed to raise more than £8,000 for global children’s charity Plan UK and Dream-A-Way, which helps people with physical and learning disabilities in Devon, Cornwall and the Scilly Isles.

This year they will also be supporting The Chiefs Foundation at their old club.

Sam, 38, hopes this year they will be able to get even more members of the public involved on the machines and sponsoring those taking part.

The father-of-five said: “We aim to make Janurow a continuing success year on year, not just a one-off. Rowing is a fantastic all-round exercise and it is all for such a great cause. We want more and more people to recognise and get behind it.

The idea came about in 2012 when the two former pros were looking for a new challenge that would benefit the community too.

During January last year, they each rowed every day until the end of the month to hit their personal target of a million metres (1,000km) each.

They also recruited around 40 members of the public, with a total of more than 10,000km rowed overall.

Sam added: “You can start the new year in the healthiest possible way and work off some of those Christmas pounds. Our experience from last year is that entrants really get the bug for it and far surpass their own expectations and feel great for it.

For more information or to get involved visit

The above article first published on, Dec 30th 2014.