Forces Rugby Players Complete Over 150,000 Burpees In Charity Challenge

The British Army and Royal Navy’s women’s rugby teams have raised over £17,000 for NHS charities.

The two teams were set to clash at Twickenham Stadium for the first time ever on Saturday May 2, but the COVID-19 pandemic saw all sporting events cancelled.

Instead, the two sets of players set themselves a target to raise at least £15,000 for charity with a burpee challenge.

After a grand total of 150,070 burpees, the attempt was completed by the 4.30pm which is when their historic Twickenham match was scheduled to start.

The challenge saw the efforts of both past and present players and management of the British Army and Royal Navy Women's rugby squads.

Gemma Rowland Army v Navy burpee challenge 040520 CREDIT Gemma Rowland_0.jpg
(Picture: Gemma Rowland).

Some of the players did their best to stay motivated by completing their burpees in an unusual manner.

One player completed the feat in Morris Dancing clogs, another in a Beefeater outfit while some did their exercise in tune to the national anthem.

4000 of the burpees were completed in 35 degree heat over in Dubai thanks to ex-Army Skipper Jane Leonard.

Speaking ahead of the challenge, the Navy's Lieutenant Commander Charlotte Fredrickson explained to BFBS’s Amy Casey what the challenge entailed and why they did it.

She said: “The aim is to raise at least £10,000 for the NHS charities… so we can show our support for the people who are working hardest at the moment which is obviously those people in the frontline at the NHS.”

Although the Burpee challenges are now over, fundraising continues through the challenge's donation page.

It wasn't the only military fundraising exercise though as Captain Mark Easterley of the 52 Armoured Engineer Squadron took part in 'The Big Lift'.

The challenge by Barnes Rugby Club was to lift a million kilograms using everyday objects.

They smashed their target, lifting 8.3 million kilograms and raising over £115,000 for charity.

Cpt Easterley is also part of the Army Masters rugby union team and did his part while on duty in Estonia.

Cover Image: Part of the tally board kept by Beth Dainton (Picture: Beth Dainton).