Next generation Norwood Challengers

6 March 2019

Adam’s first Norwood Challenge was at the age of 17 when he joined his dad on a cycle challenge in Kenya. He’s now participated in seven international cycle challenges, and has been joined by his younger brother as well. Find out what drives them to take part…

Next generation Norwood Challengers

Adam Doffman describes Norwood cycle challenges: “Norwood is an incredibly special charity, and a cause which is close to my heart. For me, not only are the international cycle challenges an amazing way to raise money for this most worthwhile cause, but also a brilliant way to meet and ride with actual beneficiaries of the charity. James, Nick, Lawrence, Jon; the list goes on in terms of the fantastic people I have had the pleasure to ride with. It’s a unique and particularly moving aspect of the bike rides.”

For over 25 years, Norwood has been running charity challenges all over the world, and we’ve been fortunate to have a group of loyal and dedicated participants –“our challengers” as we fondly refer to them. They’ve cycled miles through deserts, through remote jungles and up steep inclines. Over the years, we’ve come to see the incredible solidarity that forms and people often describe it as one of the best experiences of their lives – a big part of why they continue to return year after year.

Adam and his brother, James, two of our younger challengers, followed in the footsteps of their dad, Nick Doffman, who has been a Norwood Challenger for over 20 years now. As James says: “I was jealous of the trips! They always looked like so much fun. When my brother (Adam) went on a few with our dad, it was then that I really wanted to give it a go.”

Adam’s first challenge was at the age of 17 when he joined his dad on an international cycle challenge in Kenya. He’s now participated in seven international cycle challenges and isn’t planning on stopping any time soon. Speaking about his most recent challenge, where he cycled through Tanzania, he says: “Tanzania is an absolutely breathtaking country, both in terms of the physical beauty of its game reserves, Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru, and the people who were warm, friendly and very excited to see us and learn more about Norwood. Physically, the challenge was intense and required a decent level of physical fitness, particularly in the afternoon after lunch! The heat, hills and general fatigue accumulates and creates a genuine physical challenge. It isn’t a holiday, but the camaraderie of the group, and the knowledge that the challenge is contributing to vital funds required to sustain Norwood’s services, keeps you going.”

James joined his dad and older brother on his first challenge when he was 19. He says: “It’s an unbelievable achievement and an unbelievable way to raise money for the charity. People often want to prioritise work but this is equally, if not more, important. In one word, Norwood Challenges are incredibly ‘fulfilling’.”

He continues with a plea to his peers who might be considering taking part in their first Norwood Challenge: “Just do it! Be open minded and throw yourself into it.It’ll be one of the most inspiring and rewarding experiences of your life.”

In 2019, Norwood Challenges bring you breathtaking adventures from around the world. The next Norwood Challenge taking place is an Italian Lakes Cycle in May. To find out more about this and other challenges taking place during the year, and to sign up, please contact challenges@norwood.org.uk.

This article was first published in the Jewish Chronicle on 7 February 2019.