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Rugby club takes the high ground on mental health

PUBLISHED: 14:05 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:05 15 October 2020

A group from the North Walsham Rugby Club completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, raising money for mental health charity Give A Ruck. Picture: North Walsham Rugby Club

A group from the North Walsham Rugby Club completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, raising money for mental health charity Give A Ruck. Picture: North Walsham Rugby Club

Archant

It may have been one of the wettest and windiest days for years, but that did not stop a north Norfolk rugby club group from taking the high ground.

A group from the North Walsham Rugby Club completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, raising money for mental health charity Give A Ruck. Pictured is Jim Riley and Dan Smith. Picture: North Walsham Rugby ClubA group from the North Walsham Rugby Club completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, raising money for mental health charity Give A Ruck. Pictured is Jim Riley and Dan Smith. Picture: North Walsham Rugby Club

Members of the North Walsham Rugby Club, known as the Vikings, headed north on October 3 to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

The group managed the feat within their 12-hour target time, raising more than £3,000 for mental health charity Give a Ruck.

Jim Riley, the club’s leading try scorer for the past two seasons, said he was thrilled with the success of the walk, despite the rough weather.

Mr Riley said: “Increasing awareness about mental health is important so I’m pleased we raised money for Give A Ruck.

A group from the North Walsham Rugby Club completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, raising money for mental health charity Give A Ruck. Pictured is Dan Smith, Will Hodgson and Ethan Sikorski. Picture: North Walsham Rugby ClubA group from the North Walsham Rugby Club completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, raising money for mental health charity Give A Ruck. Pictured is Dan Smith, Will Hodgson and Ethan Sikorski. Picture: North Walsham Rugby Club

“The walk was a great team experience, the way we approached it summing up the togetherness and team spirit that makes our club so special.

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“Despite the atrocious weather we stayed positive throughout, providing support to each other through any difficult patches – just like we do on and off the pitch.”

Give a Ruck was started by Tessa Beecroft - from the Viking’s physiotherapy team - in summer last year, to help everyone involved in the sport “feel more comfortable talking openly and honestly about their mental health and wellbeing.”

Ms Beecroft, who took part in the walk, said: “We were all very tired, very wet and very cold but it was a great experience.”

Among the charity’s ambassadors are two ex-Vikings from different eras - Soul Phoenix, who has played for the England over-45s touch side, and Toby Salmon, who currently plays with premiership team, the Newcastle Falcons.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge involves walking 38 kilometres (24 miles) includes 1,585 metres (5,200 feet) of ascent.

The team scaled the peaks of Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Whernside, covering varied terrain.

Other club members taking part were Danny Cubitt, Jake Duffield, Matt Hodgson, Will Hodgson, James Knight, Ryan Oakes, Ethan Sikorski and Dan Smith.

The idea for the walk came about because the club will not be able to hold matches until January at the earliest, so the coaching group were looking for innovative ways to develop fitness and team build.


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