UGRL cruising towards Perpignan in Global Challenge

After two weeks into their challenge, the University of Gloucestershire Rugby League side are nearly two weeks ahead of schedule! 

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 coving 1,340.12km in the opening week, they have more than doubled their total to 2,928.80km – a whopping 1,248.80km ahead of their predicted target after the second week. 

The squad ended week one approaching Oslo in Norway, but with the distance covered since they have Oslo in their rear view mirror and are fast approaching the home of the Catalan Dragons, which based on the current progress, they will reach Perpignan by Thursday lunchtime.

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This week we have spoken to Brett Davies, one of the men behind the organising of the ‘UGRL Goes Global’ challenge about his teammates achievements after the second week.

“With all the pressures of uni work and other commitments that the boys have, I am massively impressed with how well they are getting the miles in. Every single day the lads get out and clock up the kilometres and share the SPF [Steve Prescott Foundation] story which is exactly what the challenge intended!

Getting the miles in early was always the main point throughout the summer and even with some hit and miss weather there hasn’t been a day yet where we didn’t hit our target. It shows the pure commitment and dedication of all the UGRL lads past and present to the challenge which is fantastic to see!”

During the initial planning phases there was a lot of talk surround different distances and it kept growing and growing and the daily target getting slightly bigger. There was also a concern that there could be a slight delay in people getting behind what we were doing. With the right planning and correct implementation and presentation to the boys it was evident right from the start that we would have a lot of backing. The motivation of the SPF charity is all the boys have needed which is fantastic to see, especially in the times we are in now. Everyone is just doing what they can to help others!”

Davies has also praised the challenge for the positive impact it is having during the lockdown period, not just for him individually, but also to the team morale and has expressed just how important team bonding is for the UGRL.

“Being one of these strange fellas who likes a bit of cardio now and again the challenge has really helped my physically. I feel that is has pushed me to staying active while being away from my usual training environment. It gives me a target for each day and helps me stay on my feet rather than sitting doing work/watching TV or just not being very active. Having a road bike is definitely a bonus as it allows me to rack up some decent mileage each week but also getting out on foot mixes things up…especially when trying to stay in a training routine!

But as I said, the way the boys have got behind this challenge is absolutely incredible and was one of the main things that was set out when we were planning and implementing it. Creating the family bond again within the club and pulling boys of all ages and season back together to really get involved and be part of the club again!

The uptake has been fantastic with 56 athletes being present in the Strava group and that just goes to show you don’t need to physically be able to see your team to create amazing memories. We can all say over the last 2 weeks we have been part of this and helped promote the story, without actually being able to see each other. It gets me excited for when we are able to get back to doing challenges as a team and hit some pretty incredible milestones. The team bonding this challenge has created is second to none and I can’t wait to see it develop of the next 498 days!”

Another incredible week for the UGRL side really, to be just under 2 weeks ahead of schedule from the get-go is a massive achievement and testament to the hardwork each member of the squad has put it and continues to put in! We can’t wait to see what next week’s result brings as they are on course to be blazing past Perpignan and making their way towards sunny Spain!

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