How crazy sports stunts have raised £20,000 for the NHS! Boston athletes Callum Johnson and Joshua-Blue Majury, Olympic ace Adam Peaty and Captain Tom Moore have backed Swineshead Royal Marine's fundraiser
Royal Marine Ryan Richardson set out to raise £500 for the NHS but - with the help of some premier athletes - he is closing in on £20,000.
Boston’s boxing champ Callum Johnson and Joshua-Blue Majury - a world champion bodybuilder - have added their weight to the campaign with some physically crazy challenges, while Olympic gold medallist swimmer Adam Peaty has also been involved.
And to add to the star-studded support, Captain Tom Moore - who captured the public’s imagination as he raised more than £25 million for the National Health Service by completing 100 lengths of his garden to mark his 100th birthday - is also backing the fundraiser.
“It’s been unbelievable really,” said Richardson, who initially asked friends to take on a 5k challenge of walking, running or cycling, donating £5 in the process.
“I saw some drinking challenges on social media and thought ‘why not set a 5k challenge instead?’ It’s been brilliant seeing so many people getting involved.
“There are also the physical and mental health benefits. The more people who do exercise the more it helps the NHS in the long term.”
Johnson, who has won British and Commonwealth titles as a pro fighter and Commonwealth gold as an amateur, decided to undertake a 100k bike challenge in his garage last Wednesday.
Pal Craig Oliver, from Boston Triathlon Club, joined in, and that led to Peaty - an Olympic and World champion swimmer, who is coached by Wrangle’s Melanie Marshall - getting involved.
The challenge soon gained larger interest and, using the Zwift app, used by indoor cyclists, more than 600 others ended up joining in.
More came on Wednesday as Johnson managed 1,200 burpees in an hour while Majury undertook 60 minutes of press ups dressed as Iron Man... while other athletes and onlookers are also joining in with the challenges.
And proving that age is no barrier, Johnson’s eight-year-old nephew Denver Woodcock raised £500 for the cause this weekend by doing 200 press ups in 20 minutes.
On Wednesday the gruelling tasks continue as Johnson will flip a tyre for 5k and Majury will travel the same distance... doing lunges.
Golfer Simon Richardson will also join in, attempting an hour of keepy-uppies.
“I’ve never ridden 100k or done an hour of burpees before. They’re hard for me but it’s good to set myself goals,” said Johnson.
“It’s keeping me sane and giving me goals. Other people have got involved, and are doing things as well, so if it’s helping other people keep fit and mentally strong while raising a bit of money for the NHS then it’s a good thing.”
Swineshead resident Richardson, of course, isn’t just sitting back and watching the money roll in.
When lockdown is over he and pals Grant Butler, Jack Coley and Bohdan Whitfield will undertake their own 100-mile challenge, a 15-mile cycle and five-mile run undertaken five times in a row.
The event will be hosted by Kirton’s Black Bull pub as part of a fun day, with the public encouraged to join in on some of the loops.
This has been given support by the team behind Captain Tom’s challenge, with Richardson pledging to complete his 100-mile challenge in honour of the former British Army Officer’s 100th birthday, which is on April 30.
As The Standard went to press, almost £20,000 had been raised for the NHS. You can donate by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ryan-richardson4.
You can watch today’s live challenges live on the Callum “The One” Johnson and Josh Blue Fitness Facebook pages.