In 2014, Mark Bowra was at the pinnacle of his career.
He was a decorated officer in the Royal Marines. He had tested himself in some of the most arduous environments including on operational duties. Life was frantic & dangerous, but it was what he had joined up to do. In the space of a few minutes all that was about to change. Mark suffered a major stroke whilst driving back from London that would lead him to be hospitalised for over a year. To be so fit and active one moment & then be so reliant on others the next, truly tested his physical & mental well-being. Mark quickly realised that he could either give in to his condition or take it on as if it was yet another challenge. Thankfully with the help of his family, friends & some very supportive charities including Help for Heroes, Mark is now back on his feet again with a greater determination to help others who may be similarly affected.
In 2016 & 2017, Mark was selected to take part in the Invictus Games, winning medals in swimming & more recently he has started training in anticipation of his greatest challenge yet, to cycle, swim, paddle & walk his way from John O'Groats to Land’s End in 2020. In doing so he is proving that no barriers need exist to those that are prepared to test themselves. At the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney in 2018, Prince Harry referred to the spirit that exists amongst the veterans, that makes them so inspirational. He also mentioned that this 'brothers in arms, never give in' attitude is something that we can all aspire to.
Mark has now dedicated himself to helping others find their Invictus inner selves, by setting up the Bowra Foundation in which the motto, 'what's inside matters' has never been more appropriate.
when you accept a challenge is real, you can have hope. When you understand your vulnerability, you become strong. When you are brave enough to ask for help, you can be lifted up
HRH PRINCE HARRY
The Bowra 1000 has been designed by Mark to demonstrate that with courage, determination and cheerfulness in the face of adversity anything is possible. It is no coincidence that these key elements of the Commando spirit have helped to create the DNA of the Bowra Foundation.
In June 2020 Mark will commence his greatest challenge to date which will see him cycle, walk, paddle and swim his way from John O’Groats to Land’s End, traveling over 1000 miles in the process. Alongside Mark will be other injured veterans as well as many of his contemporaries from his time in the military, many of whom have their own reason for taking on the challenge in support of the Bowra Foundation. Other brain injury sufferers from all walks of life, who are determined to showcase the Foundation’s motto that ‘what’s inside matters’ will also be accompanying Mark throughout his journey.
You too can be involved, by joining Mark & the team at various stages of the route, be it on land or the water. There will be sponsorship packages on offer and other fundraising opportunities all of which will be going towards our partner organisations who assist those with neurological and other life-limiting conditions.
This is your chance to be inspired, to achieve and in so doing, to motivate others - a truly life-changing opportunity.
RECOVERY is a journey which brings out a strength, determination and resilience often missing in everyday life. Everyone NOW has the chance to go on a personal journey to raise charitable funds for the BOWRA FOUNDATION.
SIGN UP today for the 1000 STEPS TO RECOVERY CHALLENGE. Break the momentum of daily routine and achieve something exciting and extraordinary IN AID of people recovering from life changing circumstances.
The 1000 STEPS CHALLENGE TO RECOVERY can be made up of any action or event that inspires an individual or team to stand in the moment of achievement outside of the world of comfort and convenience. This can range from making a 1000 cakes for a school fête to taking on an adventure challenge that takes you outside of your comfort zone.
The 1000 STEPS CHALLENGE TO RECOVERY has no end date and will form the foundations and life blood of the BOWRA FOUNDATION’S
fund raising journey.
The Heropreneurs Awards celebrate the success and entrepreneurial spirit of ex-members of the Armed Forces. Mark has been nominated for this prestigious honour, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of the Bowra Bag product range.
Supported by the Telegraph, The Ministry of Defence and Warwick University's School of Business, there are eleven categories in total – each one recognising and rewarding the achievements of those people who spent their careers protecting and caring for this country and who, since leaving the Armed Forces, have gone on to successful careers outside the military services.
Judges for this years awards ceremony total 33 persons, including:
GENERAL SIR JOHN MCCOLL KCB, CBE, DSO Chairman of the Judges
LIEUTENANT GENERAL DICK APPLEGATE Patron, Heropreneurs
KAREN BARKER Director of Recruitment and Marketing, Warwick Business School
BEN BRABYN Head of Level39 and Heropreneurs Ambassador
REAR ADMIRAL ALEX BURTON Chief Executive Officer, eWaterPay
Visit the Heropreneurs website