Buongiorno e benvenuto in Italia! That is what the University of Gloucestershire Rugby League squad would have heard this week as they continue to exceed expectations in the latest leg of their challenge!
In the ‘UGRL Goes Global’ challenge, the Rugby League side are looking to cover the world (61,576 km) over the next 70 weeks and ‘visit’ all of the nations qualified for the RLWC 2021.
The challenge itself is in support of the Steve Prescott Foundation, named after the late full-back. And the Gloucestershire boys continue to exceed initial expectations!
After ending last week on 4,491.61km and heading towards Rome on the map, the side now sit on a whopping 5,634.43km – meaning that after a month into the challenge the side have maintained a two week ahead of schedule buffer!
With France, Spain and Italy now all chalked off the side find themselves heading east – with Athens next on the agenda.
As ever we have caught up with a member of the UGRL squad who are continuing to rack up the miles for the challenge and this week it is the turn of newly elected VC for the upcoming season, Jack Simpson.
Simpson has praised his clubmates for their hard work and how surprised yet unsurprised he has been with their efforts!
“The challenge really is amazing! As a committee, we planned to arrive in Italy in Week 7 and we’ve arrived in Week 4! That just shows the commitment all of the boys have been putting in but also, it’s great to see how many old boys are getting involved as well!
I’m not really surprised to be honest. Well I suppose you could say I’m surprised at how quickly we are racking up the KM’s but I know the mindset of the boys in that squad and I know they are all desperate and determined to succeed so seeing the response from everyone is fantastic and it’s what the club is all about!”
Simpson is one of many with an eye on the future locations, with Greece and Lebanon in particular approaching on the horizon for the squad and he is as determined as ever to play his part in moving the squad along!
“Personally I’m just doing as much I possibly can to help towards our end total. I don’t have access to a bike but I will definitely be investing in one soon because I can’t wait for that last leg up to Newcastle!
But for now I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing; anywhere I go I’ll track it on Strava. When all of my uni work is completed I’ll try and do more KM’s.
But in terms of the club, I know we are well on our way to Greece and Lebanon, which I’m confident we’ll hit within the next week and then after that is a big jump to Papa New Guinea (which we are projected to hit in week 24). So it’ll be interesting to see if the boys can keep up their amazing work and if so, how early we will arrive at PNG!”
If you wish to show your support for the team and the incredible Steve Prescott Foundation please donate on their JustGiving page here – https://justgiving.com/fundraising/ugrlgoesglobal or by going to https://www.steveprescottfoundation.co.uk
You can also keep up to date with the UGRL side’s progress on their new social media accounts designated to the challenge, just search UGRLGoesGlobal on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
*Cover photo provided by UGRL and was taken by and copyright with Charlotte Martyn*