Paul McClean was one of those people that could lighten up any room. His enthusiasm, dodgy jokes, questionable magic tricks, doubly questionable football skill and huge, beaming smile made him a very dear friend to so many.
We were all extremely saddened when Paul died last year and that such a great man with worlds to offer had left us. So a team of us have decided to attempt the National Three Peak Challenge in memory of our mate.
Oli Roche, Sam Thomas, Chris Harding, Dominic Soheili, Charlotte Fraser, Jessica Hern, Alex Carr, Jess Merchant, Sam Rowley, Louis Morris, Max Roche.
For those of you who don't know what the Three Peak Challenge is, it's a set of three climbs to the top of the three highest peaks in the UK....in 24 hours!
The three mountains are:
Snowdon, in Wales (1085m)
Scafell Pike, in England (978m)
Ben Nevis, in Scotland (1345m)
To do this in 24 hours is a fierce and gruelling challenge that requires incredible teamwork, exceptional dedication and supreme fitness, three qualities that have also been used to describe our old Sunday league team, the mighty Claygate Royals. Plus, given Paul's wicked sense of humour, we know he'd be having a right laugh at some of us (no longer in our peak of fitness) struggling up these harsh mountains.
So we thought it would be a brilliant opportunity to all come together and remember our legendary, rock of a goalkeeper on the pitch and a great mate off the pitch, Paul.
Paul was a very talented journalist who wrote for the Financial Times. He spent time covering Brexit in Brussels and was extremely passionate and hard working when it came to journalism.
We are trying to set up a prize to support budding student journalists in Paul’s name at his University of Oxford college, Lady Margaret Hall. The prize fund would award £200-£400 to a student each year to enable them to further their journalistic ambitions. For example, they might use it to undertake a journalism internship or pay for a training course. This will be an annually awarded prize in perpetuity.
Journalism is notoriously very tough to get into and many have to start with unpaid internships, working for no pay for a long time. This means that often only the well off can pursue such a career. This prize will support young people and great minds like Paul to find their feet at the bottom of the ladder and follow their dreams in the world of journalism. So we think this will be really worthwhile to set up in Paul's name.
The date of the mission is from the 14th to 15th of July. Any donations would be hugely appreciated! Thank you very much in advance to everyone who wishes to donate.
You can read more about the Paul McClean prize in journalism here:
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