A FORMER St Mary’s College student who is now a soldier is preparing for a gruelling trans-Atlantic challenge.

Royal Marine Commando, Matthew Mason, 24 is taking on the Atlantic Ocean this month, rowing 2,598 miles from Gran Canaria to Barbados.

He is also attempting to break the World Atlantic Ocean Rowing Speed Record of 32 days by completing it in fewer than 30 days.

Matthew is hoping to raise £20,000 for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

The fund supports injured and wounded Royal Marines and their families, especially those making the hard transition from military to civilian life.

It also provides support to Royal Marines who face, or have faced, successive tours in high threat environments, providing adventure training, funding for homecoming events and financing memorials.

As well as all this, the charity provides support and a grant to the families and loved ones of Royal Marines that have died or been killed in service.

In order to reach his target, Matt has been taking part in various fundraising activities prior to the trip including boot camps, which members of the St Mary’s College Old Boys Football Club and Accrington Panthers Rugby League Squad took part in and a full day row at ASDA in Accrington.

For further details, go to http://www.justgiving.com/mattmason12.