5 minutes with … Ware’s Emily Boxall whose family are fundraising in a very novel way

Your family have set themselves a very novel challenge, tell us more?

My family is attempting to try every Olympic sport from the Tokyo games before the Paris games next year. That’s 46 events from 33 different sports to complete. We are doing this in memory of our uncle Tom who founded the charity Cure Parkinson’s in 2005. He never let his Parkinson’s get in the way of his sporting successes; from winning family golf tournaments, running the London Marathon and taking part in the 2012 Olympic torch relay. It’s a way of celebrating his remarkable life.

Where did the idea come from?

We have always been a sport-obsessed family, competing against each other with silly sporting challenges such as who can hold the longest plank. When Tom passed away, he left us some money to ‘go on an adventure’. It was when my sister Beth and I were playing table tennis that we first thought of completing every Olympic sport and set up The Olympic Mission (TOM). We hope to raise as much as possible for the charity.

What have been the highlights so far?

A highlight was taking part in a Fighting Fit football training session at Watford Football Club’s training dome. The programme supports people with Parkinson’s disease. After being diagnosed aged 45, founder Nick Light became determined to bring people together to fight the disease through exercise. It was an inspiring experience.

We all enjoyed softball, but the rules turned out to be more complicated than the Enigma code. Thanks to Canadian coach Andre, we were eventually able to crack them and had a highly competitive game. And speed climbing proved to be a bit dramatic as I got stuck at the top of the wall!

What has been the hardest challenge or the best experience?

Both the hardest and best experience has to have been at Broxbourne Rowing Club. We all had a go in a single scull called George. After watching our expert instructors show us how it was done, I think we expected to look like elegant swans, gliding across the River Lea. In reality, we made it look harder than Steve Redgrave’s quads and, after a lot of wobbling, all ended up in the water!

Thanks to the patience of Broxbourne Rowing Club we eventually got the hang of it and developed a new found love of the sport and new found appreciation for the professionals.

We have plenty of new experiences left to come - some of us are particularly nervous about the 10m dive! - but we are so excited to be celebrating the life of our uncle by doing something he would have loved.

What has been the response?

The events themselves have been a brilliant way to bring people together through sport. We encourage people of all abilities to get involved with us and people seem to have absolutely loved trying sports such as beach volleyball and baseball they would never usually play.

Follow our Instagram page, @the_olympic_mission, to find out how to get involved. To donate go to justgiving.com/fundraising/theolympicmission