Fundraising rugby players are set to convert miles into cash for two of their favourite charities by linking transatlantic towns called Keswick.
COVID-19 restrictions mean all games remain cancelled for the Davidson Park club but coach Richard Metcalf is keen to keep players on the move for both their physical and mental health.
So they are doing a virtual challenge for the month of February by travelling to Keswick in Virginia, USA, and back – a total of 7,164 miles.
The journey can be by walking, swimming, rowing or cycling, with all proceeds going to two charities close to the club’s heart — the Teenage Cancer Trust and RVI Tiny Lives.
Club spokesman Trevor Keough said: “ I know there are keen cyclists, walkers and swimmers amongst club members.
“All they have to do is report their mileage by text to 07516860199 where the running total will be clocked up.”
The idea is that as fundraisers cover the mileage, they are sponsored for their efforts, with the hope of raising at least £1,000 for the two charities.
Club members have already clocked up more than 3,000 miles and have raised £690 in donations for the JustGiving page.
During the 2019-2020 season, Keswick Rugby Club raised more than £10,000 for two young people’s cancer charities, with events including a fund-raising game and after-match dinner.
The Teenage Cancer Trust and The Tiny Lives Trust, based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, received donations of £6,838.93 and £3,291.93 respectively.
The charities were chosen to support Keswick players Josh Dare, who has been supported by the Tiny Lives Trust, and James Addyman, who lost his long-running battle with cancer aged 23 after having been helped by the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Josh’s baby son Isaac and his partner Michelle Fell spent many weeks in the neonatal unit at Newcastle’s RVI after she gave birth just 25 weeks into her pregnancy in May 2019.
Isaac’s twin brother Noah died.
Former Keswick School pupil James, who lived with his parents at Asby, was an inspiration as he continued playing rugby despite having had his right arm amputated at the shoulder because of cancer.
Anybody who would like to help can do so via JustGiving at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/keswick2keswick