A RUGBY player taking on a year-long charity challenge got some fundraising friends to weigh in and help out.
Haydn Richards, of Simonside in South Shields, is part of a marathon mission to raise cash for Hire a Hero, a charity set up to help soldiers after they leave the military.
The 28-year-old will complete 12 challenges in as many months, and he ticked off the fourth of them at Westoe Rugby Club in his home town – a gruelling million kilogram weightlifting session.
Haydn, a player for the Wood Terrace club and the charity’s Hire a Hero Gorillas team, enlisted nine pals to join him in lifting weights over six hours.
The Hire a Hero Gorillas have organised the fundraising feat to raise awareness of the work of the charity.
Hadyn said: “There were 10 of us who took part in the challenge, all lifting 100,000kg each.
“It was very tough and took us about six years to finish.
“We have done the Great North Run, the Tough Mudder and the Three Peaks challenge in Yorkshire as well. The Three Peaks was the hardest so far as conditions were very difficult.
“This was a different type of challenge – a challenge which pushed us through some physical barriers.”
“It took its toll on a few of the lads the next day. Some went from from never lifting a weight in years to this. Everyone who has been involved has really enjoyed it.
“There has been a very positive spirit. It is about raising awareness of the charity as well as cash. The two go hand in hand.”
Haydn’s epic effort kicked off in September, and dates still in his daunting diary include a coast-to-coast bike ride, kayaking on the Tyne and scaling the heights of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Mr Richards found out about the Gorillas team from club colleague Des White, the group’s director.
Hire A Hero is a new forces charity set up to help those leaving one of the services settle back into civilian life.
Forces families are assisted with employment, training, housing and care plans.
Though not a former soldier himself, Hadyn is keen to support those who have put their lives on the line for their country.
The Gorillas will hold their next event – a mystery challenge yet to be revealed – next month.
Anyone keen to get involved, can contact Hadyn at firstname.lastname@example.org
For details, visit www.hireaherouk.org/hire-hero-gorillas-12-12-fundraising-challenge