26-hour rugby game at Welford Road aims to raise funds for Scotty’s Little Soldiers
A group of 44 men will run on to the Welford Road turf on May 31 and attempt to play full-contact, non-stop rugby for 26 hours.
They hope the feat will put them into the Guinness Book of Records for the longest continuous game of rugby in history.
It is also likely to put some of those taking part in some very dark places in the immediate aftermath.
The brave souls who are tackling the challenge are likely to run the equivalent of two full marathons during the game and will use up to 30,000 calories in the process, playing in the region of 19 back-to-back games of rugby.
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Throw in the fact that they are also going to have to tackle and be tackled, and you realise the scale of what they are attempting.
They will get time off during the challenge, but five minutes in every hour is barely enough time for a swig of water and a banana, let alone any sense of rest and recuperation.
The word ‘brutal’ has cropped up during the build-up. Frequently.
Thank goodness the blokes involved are doing it for a good cause. It will stop the men in white coats arriving too early.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a charity that is dedicated to supporting the children of men and women killed in action while serving with the British Armed Forces.
The charity provides treats, trips and activities for families of the fallen with the aim of offering a respite – however brief – from the daily ups and downs of coping without a loved one.
It has been inspired by the experience of army widow Nichola Scott, who lost husband Corporal Lee Scott.
He was always known as Scotty and he used to call his son Kai his ‘Little Soldier’.
Funds for the charity are raised through donations, events and sponsorship. That enables children to receive things like birthday gifts and tickets for events and sporting occasions.
The charity has also bought a holiday home in Great Yarmouth for families to use if they need to get away for a while.
Alan Knell is the event manager and fund-raising co-ordinator for the game at Welford Road between the Scotty’s Invitational side and a Tri-Service team.
He says the plans for a world-record attempt have spiraled since they were first mooted last year.
“I have recently lost a friend in Afghanistan and felt like I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing,” said Knell.
“The idea was to play it at a small club, but we had a meeting with Tigers and they have been amazing.
“Pretty much everything we asked for, they have given us.
“When word got out that we were holding it at Welford Road, the amount of people wanting to play has become ridiculous. So much so, that I have pulled out myself so someone else can play.
“The hardest part of the planning now is apologising to people because we are full.
“It will be a huge task for the guys who are involved, but they will be training hard and there will be some of the army’s best medical people there on the day to help out.
“Because of the cause involved, those guys who are playing are really determined to break the record.”
The event will also involve a family fun day with things to do for children and parents.
With Tigers’ Louis Deacon and the now retired Ben Kay heavily involved in fund-raising for the charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers should have huge support in the county.
For more information about the game, visit: