Two Royal Navy Senior Ratings and a Veteran of 27 years’ Naval Service are walking 180 miles from between the sticks at Twickenham to between the sticks at The Principality Stadium in Cardiff to raise money for our Heroes.
Chief Petty Officers Andy “Gibbo” Gibbs and Philip “Knocker” White, both serving at HMS Collingwood, and Mr James “JC” Cameron-Wood, a member of Black Rods staff at the House of Lords, are carrying the Gilbert match ball for the Wales vs England RBS 6 Nations fixture on the 11 February 2017. Over the past seven years, Doing it for Heroes have raised over £477,000 to support our Heroes. They will be helped along the way by Georgina Crumpton and Penny Harris.
Gibbo and Knocker are pictured with Wales Captain, Gethin Jenkins, who presented them with the Gilbert ball at the Millenium Stadium, as the Welsh team conducted a final training session before the autumn international against South Africa.
A spokesman from the Welsh Rugby Union said: "The WRU are proud to once again be supporting Help for Heroes and Gibbo, Knocker and JC on the walk from London to Cardiff in 2017 for the RBS 6 Nations fixture. The walk is a tremendous effort for a great cause. We wish them luck and look forward to welcoming them back to Cardiff in February, and hope they look after the ball for us."
The route will be broken down over seven days, covering the 180 miles. Starting from Twickenham on 3 February heading to Reading, then through Hungerford, Cirencester, Gloucester, Monmouth and Newport. The final leg into Cardiff will see the team arrive at the stadium at 11am on 10 February when Wales run out for the Captain's Run.
The event is being supported by HEINEKEN UK, Crabbies UK, Essex Auto Group and Gilbert Rugby.
HEINEKEN’s Tim Galligan said: “We are immensely proud of our long-standing links with British servicemen and women and our support for rugby union. We are therefore delighted to bring these interests together by sponsoring a walk from the Twickenham to the home of Welsh rugby which will raise much-needed funds for Help for Heroes."
Michelle Chadwick, senior marketing controller for Crabbie's, said: "Crabbie's is a passionate supporter of rugby and there is so much dedication in this inspirational challenge. The walkers will take a great sense of achievement from completing the task, and Help for Heroes is the ultimate winner with so much money being raised for this great cause. Good luck, lads!"
Kit sponsor, Gilbert, stated: “We are delighted to again be sponsoring the fantastic team at Doing it for Heroes and assisting with their incredible fundraising efforts for such an empowering charity. We have a well-established relationship with the armed forces through rugby and couldn't think of a better team to trust with Rugby's number one performance match ball on its journey from Twickenham to Cardiff.”
Essex Ford are the founding sponsor of the Doing It for Heroes team. For them, collaborating with Chief Petty Officer Andy Gibbs and his team is a wonderful opportunity to support a worthwhile cause and enjoy the coverage the team attracts through their enthusiastic and relentless fundraising.
Essex Ford marketing director, Matt Brown, explained: "We continually go the extra mile to help support Help for Heroes activities, because we are driven by a debt of gratitude that we owe all the British service men and women who protect us from the challenges thrown down by today’s world. It’s important to us that we demonstrate our thanks by supporting those whose lives are compromised or affected by their selfless acts."
Help for Heores is all about ‘doing your bit’, and the effort and commitment of Gibbo, and the DIFH team over the last few years has been outstanding. Their latest challenge is a brilliant example of organising an event, rallying support and accomplishing something extraordinary while raising vital funds to help rebuild lives. We are incredibly grateful for their support and know this event will be as successful as all of their previous endeavours.
Follow Doing it for Heroes' progress on Twitter @TEAMDIFH or Facebook.