After raising over £50,000 for the NHS, Hammersmith & Fulham RFC aim to use their success to inspire future charity events.
Club secretary Chris Cuthbertson said the success of a charity ‘passing challenge’ in May 2020 has encouraged the club to further their charity work.
The challenge was to accumulatively pass the distance between Twickenham Stadium in London to Murrayfield in Edinburgh, which is roughly 530km.
Originally, the club aimed to raise £10,000, and ended up generating five times that amount, with a staggering £52,000 raised sent to Friends of Charing Cross Hospital.
“Looking back, it is an extraordinary achievement in the way everybody got behind it,” Cuthbertson said.
“Our coaches wanted to keep the children active, while also making them aware of the virus and getting them thinking about working to help out people.
“Friends of Charing Cross Hospital was a charity that made a lot of sense for us to raise money for, as they have looked after many of our players over the years. We’re also supporting the hospital that supports the families of our members.”
The challenge saw the club’s youth teams and their families collaborating on 16th May 2020 to take part in a passing challenge.
Each player was asked to complete 1000 5m passes, totalling 5km each, while any players without access to a rugby ball were encouraged to use a creative replacement, like a cushion.
The target distance was smashed, with the total distanced passed reaching 2,362km – over four times the original target.
The money raised has helped rejuvenate a nursery playground for key workers’ children, provided food for NHS staff and even funded a new ultrasound machine.
Rugby stars like Eddie Jones, Clive Woodward, and James Haskell gave shoutouts to the cause, with other sporting figures like Sir Mo Farah and Joe Wicks also cheering on the fundraisers.
This success has prompted the club to aim to up their fundraising.
Director of Communications Matt Wilkinson, the mastermind of the event, has big aspirations for where they go next.
He said: “The next big one we do, I want it to be a world record attempt at Hurlingham Park with everyone there. Most passes completed in 12 hours, for example.”
Currently, Hammersmith & Fulham RFC is running a club-wide Six Nations charity sweepstake, with all proceeds going to the Smile Brigade, which is a social enterprise that helps vulnerable people with their health and wellbeing.
Featured image credit: Hammersmith & Fulham RFC