Bob Low, Chairman of Warriors Rugby Supporters Association, completed a remarkable feat of endurance today when he walked the length of the Malvern Hills dressed in the costume of club mascot Maximus.
Low took six hours to walk the ten-mile South-North route in sweltering heat to help raise funds for Warriors Community Foundation’s Big Fundraiser week.
The walk coincided with the hottest week of the year so far but Low, a serving Captain with 214 (Worcestershire) Battery, 104 Regiment RA, was undaunted as he completed the walk in a five-strong team which included Carol Hart, Head of the Foundation, and Dan Hart, the Foundation’s Development Co-Ordinator.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought to be honest. The distance wasn’t an issue, it was always about the heat and once you put that head on it’s like being in a sauna. You are constantly dripping with sweat, it’s always in your eyes and it’s always in your face,” Low said.
“That was the challenge. I could have walked the hills without the costume and it wouldn’t have been a challenge.
“This week is very much about challenging yourself and making sure we raise some good money for the Foundation.
“The uphill climbs were the hardest part. Just walking normally up a hill takes a lot of concentration. That takes up all your oxygen.
“But I have a military mindset. You work on the hills and you get to rest on the downhills so we stopped on most of the hills, tk the helmet off, got a bit of oxygen in and then go again.
“This week we should have been walking with the Warriors Visually Impaired team. Two years ago we did the Three Peaks challenge , last year we did Hadrian’s Wall.
“This week we were supposed be doing the Cotswolds Way, 101 miles from Bath up to Chipping Campden. This event has replaced it. I’m most definitely glad that I have done it because it’s doing it for the right reason for the right people.
“But it’s not just about me. There are lots of people fundraising this week and the Foundation JustGiving page is open until Sunday.
“There are still challenges going on. It’s a team effort. There is still time for supporters to get involved. Just get in touch with Dan Hart and he will support you all the way.”
Earlier this week Dan Hart did the equivalent of two marathons in day when he walked the canal towpaths from Worcester to south Birmingham and back.
Carol Hart passed 150,000 steps in the week on the final mile of today’s trek as the team of walkers descended from North Hill to the North Quarry car park in Malvern.
Other Foundation staff who have taken on fundraising challenges include Matt Jones, who ran 60k, Izzy Brick who cycled 100 miles and the Warriors Homeless Rugby team who are combining their walks this week to cover the length of the Wales/England border. Luke Sinden, one of the Foundation participants is walking 100,000 steps this week.
The Warriors Community Foundation has been doing life-changing work for the last ten years but, like most charities, it has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which has reduced its ability to raise funds.
Despite the lockdown, Foundation staff are still supporting the most vulnerable people in the community by calling them regularly, chatting to them via Zoom and keeping in constant contact to ensure everyone is coping.
Foundation staff have also been volunteering to deliver vital food and medicines to participants who are isolated and vulnerable.
That support will become even more important once the lockdown regulations ease and vulnerable people come out of isolation and attempt to return to normality.
To ensure that pioneering initiatives including the Homeless Rugby Programme, the Tackling Dementia Sports Cafés and Disability Sports and Inclusion programmes are there to provide that support the Foundation needs to generate vital funds now.
The Foundation’s Big Fundraiser runs until Sunday June 28 and is open to all who would like to take part or simply make a donation to support the Foundation’s life-changing work.
To support the Warriors Community Foundation Big Fundraiser click here