A MAN who lost his brother to motor neurone disease is taking on an Olympic challenge to raise money for charity in his memory.

Stuart Bates and his partner, Charlotte Nichols, will attempt all 80 Olympic events in some form to coincide with this summer's Tokyo Games.

The pair will be starting the 17-day challenge in July to mark the 10-year anniversary of the death of much-loved Weymouth musician Spencer 'Spenny' Bates.

Spencer was a well-known drummer on Weymouth's music scene. Married to Nicky and dad to Samuel and Isaac, he died at the age of 49 in 2011.

The aim of the ‘Spennylympics’ is to raise at least £10,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association.

Stuart and Charlotte have recruited more than 40 former and current Olympians to act as ambassadors and mentors for their specific event.

Athletes include Amir Khan, Tessa Sanderson, Sally Gunnell, Joe Clarke, Anna Watkins and Hannah Mills, many of whom have sent messages of support to the pair over social media.

This is the first time a challenge like this has been attempted. The long list of events includes a number of energy sapping tests, such as a marathon, a 240km cycle, a 10km swim and 10m platform diving.

Stuart, 51, and Charlotte, 21, admit they're not anywhere near Olympic fitness levels and expect that their attempts at synchronised swimming, skateboarding, surfing and Greco-Roman wrestling, will be met with laughter.

If current Covid travel restrictions are eased, the pair will be completing the events across various UK locations, and the couple intend to start and finish the challenges in Weymouth – culminating with the couple doing a marathon on the final day.

Stuart, a window cleaner, now living in Oxfordshire, and Charlotte, a Bristol University medical student, said: “We are both excited and terrified by this challenge in equal measure. We have been astounded by the level of support and interest throughout the British Olympic community that we have received so far and are incredibly grateful to everyone who is working hard to help us achieve this dream.

“We are so motivated to raise vital awareness and funds for MND Association in memory of Spenny and for all of those currently battling this disease for which there is currently no cure.”

The couple are also being supported by GB weightlifter and special ambassador, Emily Muskett, who lost her mum, Celia, to motor neurone disease just before Christmas.

In a video to the fundraising couple, Emily said: “It is a really really really important cause, so we must get behind it as much as we can. We need to help raise awareness of this illness and fundraise the Motor Neurone Disease Association so that they can push forward their research.”

Russell Spivey, regional fundraiser at the MND Association said: “We are completely blown away by Stuart and Charlotte's incredible Spennylympics challenge to raise funds for the MND Association. Their energy passion and commitment to this event, whilst also working full time, is phenomenal and that passion and dedication will no doubt help them overcome the immense physical challenges they will face.”

To support the couple visit www.spennylympics2021.webnode.co.uk