Steve and a star-studded team of ex-professionals will undertake the Carnegie Challenge Cup Challenge to run along this year’s tournament, embarking on a 700 mile bike ride across France before rowing 24 miles up the Thames in a dragon boat and running a half marathon to deliver the match ball to Wembley in time for the Carnegie Challenge Cup final in August.
Participants from Rugby League include Paul Sculthorpe, Kris Radlinski, Chris Joynt, Steve Hampson, Gary Connolly, Anthony Sullivan, Steve Prescott, Terry O’Connor, Chris Smith Steve Hall, and Lee Jackson. Jimmy Gittins and Pete Stephenson, who both sustained career-ending injuries, will also take part on a specially adapted Quad bike designed to help them complete the challenge.
Additionally the Carnegie Challenge Cup ball will be taken to each televised match by the participants beginning next week with a journey from St Helens to Leeds for the Leeds Rhinos v St Helens 4th round tie.
Peter Rodgers, Dean of Sporting Partnerships at Leeds Metropolitan University said: “We recognise that Steve Prescott himself and the activities of the Steve Prescott Foundation are inspirational to a diverse range of people in and outside of the game of rugby league. We share values with the SPF of community support, rising to the challenge and excellence in all that we do. Supporting the SPF is another example of our place in the rugby league family and fits with our ethos of providing opportunities for volunteering and for learning from and being inspired by champions.”
“We are keen to help SPF to deliver this tremendous event and to celebrate the achievements of all those who take part. This year the SPF are going beyond their traditional boundaries and this is something that we as a university always look to encourage and support at every opportunity.”
Speaking of the challenge, Steve Prescott added: “It’s going to be really tough for all of us. I thought doing the London Marathon was hard, but this is three challenges rolled into one! We are talking about over 80 miles a day for over a week on our bikes and then we paddle up the Thames in a dragon boat. The training is going well at the moment, we are getting our co-ordination together but the stamina part will be the real test. Lifting your arms up pushing and pulling for hours on end will be a tremendous challenge. It’s great for the guys who are training us to give up their time and the facilities at the Queen’s Dock in Liverpool are fantastic. I have really enjoyed the past few weeks of training. Occasionally you catch the top of the water and splash somebody and I just can’t stop laughing! Mind you, as the mileage increases over the next few weeks perhaps the laughs won’t come as easily - who knows! It’s also fantastic to be joined by Jimmy (Gittins) and Pete (Stephenson), who show incredible enthusiasm and determination. They are an inspiration for us all.