Industry leader challenge
Jaguar Land Rover
Channel Swim Challenge 2017
Daksh Gupta, CEO of Marshall Motor Holdings Plc has handed the baton for Ben’s 2017 Industry Leader (ILC) Challenge to Jeremy Hicks, MD of Jaguar Land Rover UK. Jeremy, who has been a Trustee of the automotive industry charity, Ben for 2 years, will galvanise his team to raise awareness and crucial funds for the charity in the ‘Jaguar Land Rover Channel Swim Challenge’.
Jeremy will be swimming the English Channel, along with 13 of his Jaguar Land Rover colleagues in a two team relay in August 2017. Jeremy took up the ILC baton and chose the Channel Swim Challenge as he felt it was something that would really test him physically and mentally also requiring an extraordinary team effort.
The English Channel is 21 miles wide and has taken anything between 7 and 27 hours to swim. It’s an incredibly demanding test of endurance and stamina, understandably it’s considered by many to be the ultimate long distance challenge. The team will have to contend with extreme conditions, cold water, tides, gusting winds and waves of over 2m. It’s not for the faint hearted, the channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, ferries and tankers take priority also, the team will also need to avoid other hazards such as the resident jellyfish population.
Jeremy said: “I am challenging myself, my team and also the industry to get behind our own dedicated industry charity. Without the vital support from the industry, Ben couldn’t continue to provide the much-needed services to our colleagues. It’s easy to take our health for granted, this challenge will raise awareness of the importance of maintaining a good level of physical fitness – whatever our age! Ben is a vital lifeline and its sole purpose is to help improve the health and wellbeing of the automotive workforce, reducing absence, raising productivity and morale”.
“I’m really excited to be taking up the ILC baton for 2017, I’ve got big shoes to fill as Daksh has set a stretching target for us to beat. I need the support of everyone working in the automotive community to help us smash the £151,000 raised by Daksh. That’s my challenge, so please, get behind me – let’s make it count”.
Jeremy has never been a competitive swimmer but enjoys swimming as a hobby. His preference has been to swim breast stroke and he didn’t realise that Channel Swimming Association rules require front crawl for swimming the Channel; schoolboy error! He has begun training in earnest with twice weekly sessions in his local pool.
He said: “I’ve been seriously working on my front crawl. I’ve lost count of the number of YouTube videos I’ve watched to try and perfect my technique and improve my speed and open water practice now beckons. Please wish the whole team luck”.
As part of its role as a responsible business, Jaguar Land Rover is leading the ‘Benergy’ initiative which involves regular meetings with Ben and other car manufacturers to lead an ongoing and evolving plan to organise a constant stream of fundraising activities. These activities involve employees and the company as well as the general public. Retirees are encouraged to become Ben volunteers and signpost those who are experiencing financial or other issues to contact them for support.