Racing driver, Billy Monger, is preparing to walk, cycle and kayak over 140 miles in over four days for Red Nose Day to raise money for people struggling now more than ever, with the highs and lows to be filmed for a BBC One documentary
The professional racing driver and double leg amputee will push himself to the limit as he takes on Billy’s Big Red Nose Day Challenge which will see him attempt to walk, cycle and kayak over 140 miles in four days, for Red Nose Day.
Later this month, Billy, who lost both of his legs in a racing accident three years ago, will tackle huge distances on foot, take to freezing open waters by kayak, and endure day long stretches on a bike, all while battling the unpredictable British weather to cover 140 miles in four days, with Billy finishing at the world famous race circuit, Brands Hatch, in Kent.
Having started racing at just six-years-old, Billy, now aged 21, quickly became one of Britain’s most exciting young talents within the world of competitive motor racing and became the Super 1 National Honda Cadet Champion at the age of 10. In April 2017, following a devastating crash during a British F4 race at Donington Park circuit, Billy was left with life-changing injuries, resulting in the amputation of both his legs. However, Billy’s resilience and resolve saw him back behind the wheel within a year and back to winning ways, which led to being awarded the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in 2018.
Billy said: “It still feels so surreal that I’m doing this for Red Nose Day - that I’m doing 140 miles, in disciplines that I haven’t got any experience in at all. I haven’t cycled since my accident, three years ago and I’ve never kayaked in my life, so I’m going to have to get the hang of the gear pretty quickly, especially to cover the distances that we’re doing. So, it’s nerve wracking but it’s exciting.
“I never thought I’d be doing a Red Nose Day challenge of my own. I remember watching people like David Walliams and John Bishop when I was younger and never ever would I have imagined myself in their shoes. But the reason I said yes is because I really hope we can raise lots of money for people that need support. It’s such a difficult time right now for everyone and I’m really proud to be able to do something to help”
Billy has been training for the challenge for a couple of months now and has been working with specialists and trying out new bikes and kayaks to ensure he has the best equipment available. Billy has also been helped and advised through Zoom training sessions by Wildwater World Champion and Team GB Coach Hannah Brown, two-time World Paratriathlon Champion Hannah Moore, Paralympic Talent Coach Becky Hewitt and Billy’s long-time trainer, Andy Wellfare to ensure he has the best levels of training and professional advice before taking on this challenge.
People at home will be able to see all the highs and lows of Billy’s challenge in an hour-long special documentary, filmed by a reduced crew that will be adhering to strict Covid-19 guidelines throughout the challenge, on BBC One.
The money Billy raises will help tackle important issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, including those now reliant on food banks, and provide vital funding to under resourced front line charities as they adapt and navigate through these difficult uncertain times.
Ahead of his challenge, Billy visited Fight 4 Change, a boxing project in London which is supported by Comic Relief. The project works with young people, offering them boxing, mentoring, mental health support and peer-buddying systems to help overcome isolation and help navigate the many challenges they face.
Billy added: “I loved seeing how donations to Red Nose Day have been helping Fight 4 Change. I’m so grateful to the team there for showing me the amazing work they do and telling me how sport has such a positive impact on young people’s lives and helped them get through incredibly tough times. I’ll think of this when the challenge gets really hard and know it will be all worth it to hopefully raise some much-needed money”
To find out more and support Billy go to comicrelief.com/rednoseday