After months of planning, the Mississippi Million participants finally took to the water today to begin their challenge to row the length of the Mississippi river in aid of Right To Play.

The idea for the challenge came about after John Pritchard, ex-Olympic rower and Chairman of Right To Play UK, visited a Right To Play project at a school for children with learning and physical disabilities in Ghana.

After meeting Richmond, a ten year old boy with Down's syndrome, John decided to take on a challenge which would raise funds to enable Right To Play to support more children like him through sport and play programmes. And so the Mississippi Million challenge was born, with the aim of raising $1million for Right To Play.

John will be rowing the entire length of the Mississippi river over the next two months, joined along the way by friends and supporters, including Right To Play Founder and CEO, Johann Olav Koss, who will be rowing part of the river with John.

For more information about the challenge, to donate and to read John's blog along the way, visit