Pioneering Siberian challenge for Brentwood’s Olly Rowland

A trainee stuntman from Brentwood will set off for Siberia on Monday to take part in an epic challenge.

Olly Rowland, 23, will be one of the first ever participants in the Pioneers Ice Run – a 1,600km trek along the frozen River Ob.

With boat travel out of the question, he will need to use a 650cc motorbike to negotiate the icy terrain.

The former pupil of St Martin’s School said: “I’m quite laid back about it all to be honest.

“There are a few nightmare scenarios like breaking through ice and losing the motorbike, or finding a polar bear outside my tent, but hopefully that won’t happen.”

Olly is using the trek to raise money for Diabetes UK, having been diagnosed with the condition himself while working as an extra on the TV adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather.

He is currently working towards becoming a fully qualified stuntman, and worked on film Captain America last year.

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Olly, who has to regularly inject with insulin, is determined to show that having diabetes doesn’t hold you back.

“I have read a lot on the Internet about how people have been diagnosed with diabetes and feel that they can’t do certain activities or are restricted in their lives in some way because of it. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said.

“It can be annoying sometimes if I’m on set and wearing a ridiculous costume with ten layers or something, but I just get on with it.”

It is his second fundraising adventure for the charity – having taken part in the 10,000-mile cross-country Mongol Rally in 2009.

After his car broke down, he eventually completed the event with two other men in a two-seat pick-up truck. One had to steer and one had to control the pedals in order for them to make it to the finish.

Sharon Tillbrook, from Diabetes UK, said: “Olly’s past achievements have already proven his tenacity and courage in the face of Type 1 diabetes and we are wishing him good luck.”

n To sponsor Olly’s trek, visit:

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