December 7 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, January 10, 2013
A CHARITY is aiming to break a world record with a 25-hour rugby match at the home of the Leicester Tigers.
Nikki Scott, from Walpole St Andrew, founder of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, hopes thousands of pounds will be raised as two squads of 22 men take to the pitch for the marathon game on May 31.
One team will come from the combined armed forces while Scotty’s team includes the charity’s friends and supporters from around the country.
The rugby match will see the teams play the equivalent of 19 back-to-back games in order to beat the current world record of 24hrs six minutes and six seconds.
Mrs Scott, whose husband Lee was killed while serving in Afghanistan, said: “It is going to be a tough challenge and I’m learning more and more about rugby all the time - we were a football family really but I’m loving rugby now.”
Each player will have the names of a Scotty’s child member on their jersey which will be presented to the families after the game.
“We wanted to make it personal to them, something they can keep and remember the day by,” said Mrs Scott.
Two members of the Scotty’s team, Antony Hatcher and Dan Clark, served with Lee and are still in the Army.
Leicester Tigers have strong links with Scotty’s and the club has adopted the charity as one of its beneficiaries for the season.
Club forward Ben Kay, who has more than 60 caps for England, is a patron and supporter of Scotty’s.
The rugby match is being organised by a Scotty’s co-ordinator Alan Knell, of Cheshire, who has served with the Royal Navy.
He said: “I can’t believe how much this has taken off. We thought it would be a small little thing at a local club somewhere, but it’s getting bigger all the time. It’s going to be a great day with lots of entertainment for the children apart from the rugby.
“These guys will be running the equivalent of two marathons during the match and some of those serving in Afghanistan are already training for it.”
The Scotty’s team includes a West Norfolk contingent playing alongside charity supporters from other parts of the country.
Each player hopes to raise a minimum of £500 and can be individually sponsored. Tickets for the game will go on sale next month.
This year will also see the first Scotty’s Day when children will be encouraged to go to school dressed as soldiers to help raise money.
Mrs Scott has chosen July 10 - the anniversary of the death of her husband in 2009, as the date for the first day dedicated to the charity.
“I wanted it to be a special day that was very personal,” she said.
“It is the worst day of the year for me, a day that changed our lives forever, but I can look out of the window and see the kids going to school wearing soldier uniforms because of Lee and I will be so proud.”
The charity is in the process of contacting schools and hopes the children will be allowed to dress as soldiers and wear a specially-designed temporary tattoo while paying £1.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers was founded to help fund treats and trips for the children of members of the armed forces who are killed in action.