Major bank holiday event in Harborough district cancelled

A file picture from the Kilworth Challenge
A file picture from the Kilworth Challenge

A major fundraising event held in the Harborough district for more than 25 years has been cancelled this year.

The Kilworth Challenge for 2018 set for the long late May Bank Holiday has been cancelled, much to the disappointment of the organising committee.

A spokesman said: "Unfortunately this was due to not being able to secure appropriate and affordable insurance cover despite extensive negations with several different companies.

"This, coupled with the increasing need to adhere to safety legislation, has forced the organisers to conclude that it is not possible to run the 2018 Kilworth Challenge."

Nick Otter of the Kilworth Challenge said: "We are clearly extremely disappointed at having to make this decision but sadly we are not in a position to provide the necessary safety net that is essential to the running of the event.

"The Kilworth Challenge has been running for 27 years and the only other time we were forced to cancel was in the year of the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001.

"The situation this year is of course very different to then. Having raised over £1.25 million for charity since the start in 1990, it is upsetting to see such a village institution as the

Challenge come to such an end this year."

He added: "The organising committee would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people that have supported and taken part in the challenge in the past and have contributed to the successful running of the event.

"We hope that the Kilworth Challenge will be able to continue next year."

The Kilworth Challenge sees teams of four take on a series of obstacles and challenges, taking on an assault course, crossing rivers, rafting and solving puzzles, all demanding close teamwork and to be completed in a fixed period of time. It also requires orienteering skills as the teams have to be at a specific spot in the countryside at a specific time to do a specific task.

The first and most challenging challenge is to see how much money that each team can raise for charities which are normally associated with outward bound activities for handicapped or disadvantaged children.

Approximately two-thirds of funds raised have gone to the named charities, in the last few years to Dukes Barn on the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire, to Over The Wall based in the Midlands, and to Young Leicestershire from Leicester.

The remaining amount (over £400,000 pounds) has been used in supporting local good causes in the Harborough and Lutterworth areas.

In 2012, the year the one million pounds mark was surpassed, the Kilworth Challenge won two of the Harborough Mail supported Pride in Harborough awards - the Fundraiser of the Year

and the top prize of the Market Harborough Building Society Choice Award 'the best of the best' - something of which the organisers are still justifiably proud.