The Twickenham Challenge
On the morning of St George’s day the 23rd April, five Aircrewmen from 848 NAS, set off from the RM Barracks Chivenor near Barnstaple and cycled 111 miles across Exmoor and the Somerset levels to the Globe Inn in Somerton.
The significance of the 111 miles represents the distance from their base at Yeovilton to Twickenham stadium the home of English rugby and the venue for the annual Army v Navy rugby match. The event’s chosen charity was the RN & RM Charity and as part of the fundraising campaign it has asked servicemen and women to take up the challenge of riding, rowing, running, or swimming the distance from their unit to Twickenham for sponsorship.
Team leader WO1 Ritchie Waterton explained, “A large percentage of service men and women will have benefited from the charity in some way during their career. Its aim is to provide a better quality of life for serving and former naval personnel and provide grants for everything from sporting facilities through to life care for sailors and marines and most importantly their families. We took on the challenge to give something back but we wanted to make the ride suitably tough to raise as much sponsorship as possible, so completed the 111 miles across Exmoor together where the total ascent is over 5,000’ with the main climb over the first 17 miles”.
One of the team knows only too well how the RN/RMC provides help when it is needed. Sgt Paul Collacott’s explained, “My daughter Jessica was born with a heart condition which meant she had to stay in the Children’s Hospital at Bristol for first 11 months of her life and the RN/RM Charity provided significant support to the family during these difficult and emotional times.”
The team from 848 NAS completed the challenge and raised £2,274.25, with gift aid for the RN & RM Charity.
The team consists of WO1 Ritchie Waterton RM, Sgt Paul Collacott, Sgt Nick Batchelar and LACMN James “Tricky” Trewick, Sgt Dave “Crabbo” Brown.