Thursday, 23 May 2024
Thursday, 23 May 2024

Rugby coach turning endurance challenge into fundraising boost for juniors

A Shropshire rugby coach is using the sport’s current World Cup as inspiration for a gruelling challenge which will see him weightlift nearly 306,000kg and cycle, run or row almost 2,000 miles in a bid to raise funds for his club’s junior team.

Nick Heyes, 39, is one of four coaches supporting Telford Hornets RFC’s junior teams in a bid to raise money for them all to go on the annual tour and pay for training equipment.

The challenge is seeing Nick lift the combined weight of every Rugby World Cup team averaged out over the span of the tournament – 49 days, while also running, cycling or rowing the distance between all the stadiums hosting matches over the same period.

Nick has set up a JustGiving page with a £2,000 target – but is hoping his efforts will raise more than that.

He said:

“Some people think I am crazy but I really wanted to do something special to support what we are doing at the club for young players. Times are difficult for everyone right now so if the challenge I have set myself helps to finance equipment and allows the youngsters to go on tour, then it will have been well worth it.

I got into coaching through my son Rhys, who is playing for the U10s. He loves the game and wanted to play for a ‘proper’ rugby team. I have been a coach for three years now and love every aspect of it, seeing the progression of Rhys and the other kids over that time and the family feeling fostered by the club.

“The Hornets organise and undertake a junior tour for our U7s to U12s around March each year but the cost of such events and the current economic climate mean some families find it hard to attend the annual tour. The aim is to make it as cheap as possible and hope to cover the cost of the children attending. 

“Tour is a vital part of community rugby, bonding with other age groups and creating the rugby family. A tour isn’t just about the fun; our junior teams enjoy the experience of being trained by a premiership team’s coaching staff, attending a premiership rugby match and participating in local tournaments.”

Nick said the Rugby World Cup gave him the idea of doing something related to the strength, endurance, courage and spirit that the sport brings, so he devised a physical challenge for himself with these strength and endurance elements in mind. 

He added:

“For strength, I am lifting the total combined weight of every RWC 23 team, through all the rounds, which equals 305,880 kgs. With 49 days of World Cup competition, this equals 6,243kg a day.

“For the endurance element, I am cycling, running or rowing the total distance between all the stadiums hosting World Cup games, starting at Stade Pierre Mouroy in Lille, going clockwise and finishing back there, within 49 days. This total distance is 1,918 miles, which equates to a daily target of 39.14 miles.

“This means that for each of the 49 days I am lifting 6,243kgs and completing a distance of 39.14 miles. 

“I hope my challenge will inspire people within the rugby community and beyond to kindly donate funds and support the Telford Hornets U10s Junior Tour, and training equipment. I am also hoping it will inspire the U10s team – showing that through determination, and a willingness to succeed, they can achieve great things in rugby, and in life.”

Nick has already started his challenge and can often be seen at the side of the pitch cycling with his bike on rollers so he can still watch the youngsters train and play and when he is off the bike he is walking around carrying weights!

To support Nick in his challenge, visit the JustGiving page.

If any businesses would like to promote their brand through sponsorship of tour tops, kits or signage please email


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