The rugby league family came together on the 15th April as they completed a marathon challenge to raise money for charity.
Rugby league players, coaches, journalists and fans all took part in the Carnegie Rowing Challenge, a 42,195 metre indoor rowing marathon, to raise money for Try Assist, the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.
The event, which raised around £15,000, took place at Leeds Metropolitan University as individuals and teams completed the gruelling distance, including St Helens and Great Britain legend Paul Sculthorpe, BBC Radio’s Dave Woods and John Power, who broke his neck playing for Oldham in 1995 and has benefited from the work of the benevolent fund.
John completed the marathon distance in 5 hours and 26 minutes and was grateful for the support he received both before and during the event: “I would like to firstly thank everyone who has made this event possible, the mastermind behind the event BBC Radio’s Dave Woods and Leeds Met for bringing it all together. I can honestly say I have never been a part of something so fantastic and among so many people who wanted to push themselves to their limits.”
“From my own experience of completing the marathon I would like to thank the people that stayed behind to push me through it as I was losing all energy and that gave me a boost to finish it. The RFL Benevolent Fund ‘Try Assist’ is a great help to people like me myself who have suffered severe injuries on the rugby field and to give something back is a great honour. So to all those people who sponsored and supported myself and all the other competitors I would like to say a big thank you.”
As well as John Power’s magnificent solo performance, Jimmy Gittins and Pete Stephenson both led teams for the RFL Benevolent Fund. Chairman Tim Adams fought back his 65 years as part of the Benevolent Fund teams who were sponsored for £1000 by Napoleon’s Casino.
Dave Woods finished in a commendable 2 hours and 55mins and said: “It’s one of the best days I’ve ever been involved with and I think everyone who took part would agree. It was a sensational effort to raise as much as we did for a fantastic charity. This was the rugby league family coming together and having a great time for a great cause.”
Royce’s Gym produced a stunning row as they posted a time of 1 hour, 54 mins and 6.9 seconds in an incredible display of athleticism and determination. Carnegie Challenge Cup holders Warrington Wolves were the best placed of the rugby league sides with a time of 2hrs 29mins as they beat a Leeds Rhinos side by 11 minutes.
Hunslet Hawks welcome the transfer of Leeds Rhino’s cheer leader Nicola Booth, into their team!
Other selected results included Paul Sculthorpe who finished in 2hrs 42mins, the Steve Prescott Foundation who completed the marathon in 2hrs, 42mins, Oldham Roughyeds who posted a time of 2hrs, 43mins and the Superleague Show who finished the distance in exactly 3 hours.
Anyone wanting to sponsor the work of the RFL Benevolent Fund, Try Assist can still do so at https://www.justgiving.com/carnegierowingchallenge