WHAT DO you do when your charity fundraising challenge, to virtually travel around the world, is completed in half the planned time? Do it again.
That’s exactly what the RAF Police Rugby Football Club - the Flying Pigs did with its, Around The World in Seven Days challenge. The challenge asked entrants to run, walk, cycle, row or even swim the 25,000 miles under their own steam, to raise money for five charities; NHS Charities together, RAF Benevolent fund, Rugby For Heroes, Atlas Foundation and Scotty’s Little Heroes. So far, the event has raised over £6000 in the UK with an additional $10,000 being donated to UNICEF by a competitor in Singapore inspired by everyone’s efforts, and $5000 in America where the money has been donated to inner city rugby projects in New York.
Gp Capt David Wilkinson, Provost Marshal (RAF) and President of RAF Police RFC said on closing the challenge:
“The response has been fantastic, the challenge, to navigate the globe virtually via the equators, was smashed in four days. So, we did it again, this time North to South through the Poles.”
So far, a total of 58,000 miles has been completed, with more miles being counted from teams from across the globe including the UK, Falkland Islands and Germany.
Professional rugby union teams Saracens, Harlequins and Wasps ladies’ teams competed against each other- completing more than 15,000 miles between them.
Inside the first 100 hours of the competition, 33293 miles had been completed. Other notable efforts saw FS Mark Ginger complete a 100km run in 24 hours with a weighted backpack. Cpls Ryan Laird and Nathan Curtis did battle, with Laird cycling 500 miles, while Curtis elected to row a marathon! Another novel way to tackle the marathon distance was to run it around the pitch of your home rugby club, which is exactly what Flt Lt John Barrowcliff did at Oldershaw Rugby Club.
Cpl Rhys Wynn, RAF Police RFC Dep OIC and challenge Project Officer said: “Despite being unable to compete in our planned fixture due to Covid-19, the club members were adamant that we could show our club spirit and to do something to show how much we appreciate the charities, so that we can help them continue their incredible work, not just during this pandemic, but after.”
Simon Bailey, chairman of the trustees for Rugby For Heroes, said:
“As is the case for many charities, the Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on our charitable activities and in particular our fundraising events. To be designated as one of the beneficiaries of this initiative is a great honour. A heartfelt thank you goes to everyone who took part.”
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