On Thursday 7 October, the Sussex rugby team embarked on a twenty-four hour charity rowing-machine marathon in support of Cancer Research UK. To date, they have managed to raise £1,150.
The rowing started at twelve o’clock on the afternoon of the Thursday in Library Square.
Members of the team were designated 20-minute shifts on the machines in order to share the workload that continued throughout the night.
John Behan, the social secretary of the club and one of the organizers, intimated his pride for the team, commenting that “all the boys powered through despite the cold.”
However, it was not just the rowers’ physical effort that gave life to this occasion, the organisation for the event was also hard work. Beham commented on how planning the event had “been [his] life for the past few weeks.”
The event was not purely a rowing exercise; a raffle, with top prizes including a ten-man ticket to watch the London Saracens at Wembley, was a focal point of attention, with eight hundred pounds being raised from it alone. Behan recognised that in hindsight they “could have done more” with the raffle tickets selling out, revealing some unrealised money-making potential.
All the rowing machines during the row were set at the highest level of resistance, maximising the work rate. Tom Nadin, one of the many rowers taking part, said: “it was like rowing though concrete.”
This effort has been an attempt by the rugby team to reboot their image after the controversy associated with them last year. Behan promises that there is “more in the pipeline” from the team in regards to charity work, and promises that they “will be back with something different next term.”
The squad are still accepting donations, which can be made on their Just Giving site: www.justgiving.com/sussexrugbycharityrow, for any of those who missed out on the opportunity to donate during the event.