Take On A Challenge in 2018

Push yourself to the limit this year and raise money for veterans!

Each year thousands of enthusiastic individuals challenge themselves to push their physical limits and take part in endurance challenges to raise money and awareness for Veterans charities.

Military life by it’s nature involves some serious training that often entails gruelling physical challenges that can truly push cadets and soldiers to the very limit of their abilities. Although we might all have different memories of our military training (not all of them positive!) these events are a great chance for us to meet new people, get some exercise and raise some money for a cause that really makes a difference to veterans’ lives.

The following challenges are by no means easy, therefore it’s worth considering if you have enough time to train before the day itself – find a couple of friends to join you to make the training that much easier:

100km in 24 hours Yorkshire for Blind Veterans

Founded as the Blinded Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Care Committee in 1915, Blinded Veterans has operated for over 100 years and has continued to support veterans that have partially or completely lost their sight. Each year they operate two endurance races that are open to both the public and ex-servicemen alike. On June 23rd, competitors can take part in a 100k route starting and finishing at Darley Memorial Hall, the route takes in a number of local monuments including Brimham Rocks and Ripley Castle.

Where? Starts at Darley Memorial Hall

When? 23rd June 2018

Balmoral Challenge for Walk with the Wounded

Through a variety of programmes Walk with the Wounded focuses its efforts on reintegrating veterans back into society, working with veterans with mental health difficulties, as well as those without homes or in need of qualifications. The charity raises money through a number of events, the Balmoral Challenge being just one of these. In teams of four, entrants walk alongside the wounded beneficiaries of the charity across one of three routes. Each route starts and finishes in front of the Queen’s Scottish Residence with excellent support being provided by volunteers and serving members of the military alike.

Where? Starts at Balmoral, Scotland

When? 22nd June 2018

The Hundred Days Offensive for Soldiers’ Charity

2018 is the centenary anniversary of the Battle of Amiens, a conflict that combined forces from Australia, Canada, Britian and France in World War I. To commemorate this historic day, the Soldiers’ Charity will be organising a 100k walk as a tribute to the 18 million people whose lives were claimed by the First World War. The walk will trace the changing lines of the battlefield over the last hundred days of World War I and will be led by historian Steve Roberts.

Where? Cambrai Memorial

When? 10th-14th October 2018

Upcoming Sports Events: Home and Away

Sports and Fundraising collide this October and November.

Since the now legendary football match that took place on Christmas Day in World War I, there’s been a strong link between the sporting world and the military. 

The dynamic that exists between team mates is very similar to the one that bonds members of a squad together, this perhaps explains why veterans so often find themselves drawn to sporting social groups when they reach their retirement.

Taking part in regular sports activities is a great way to stay social and keep in shape, whether it’s kicking a ball around for a couple of hours a week or simply joining a running club, it’s these kinds of activities that can really boost your confidence and overall happiness.

Thanks to this link between sports and the armed forces, each year there are numerous events that aim to help veterans. We’ve searched the internet to find some of the more obscure activities that you can either support or join yourself, as a veteran:

Muang Thai Marathon

Running a marathon is no easy task, running a marathon in 30 degree heat is a challenge that not many would undertake lightly. Nevertheless, Kamonwan Fenn will be running the Muang Thai Marathon in Bangkok for Help 4 Forgotten Allies, a small scale charity that sends all their funds to help a dwindling collection of Thai veterans and widows from World War II. Kamonwan’s late husband, Mark Fenn, was a successful journalist and supporter of the charity, she’ll be running the Marathon as a dedication to him.

Where? Muang Thai, Thailand When? 8 October 2017

More info at: http://www.h4fa.org.uk/

Vetrov Epee

Many veterans like to get involved with a sport after they leave the forces and some of them even try to remain fighters! There’s a thriving Fencing scene throughout the UK and for those that have also served in the armed forces, there’s the opportunity for competing internationally this year in Russia. Small bands of veteran fencers will be making the trip out to St. Petersburg this November, so if you’ve not made plans for Remembrance Sunday, you could consider making a trip out to support them!

Where? Saint-Petersburg When? 4-5 November 2017

More info at: http://www.veterans-fencing.co.uk/events/vetrov2017.pdf

Kerala Trek

Blind Veterans UK always have an exciting calendar of charity challenges and events on their schedule, this one stands out for it’s gruelling distance and stunning environment. This 10-day trek takes challengers through the South Indian region of Kerala, past tea plantations, villages and paddy fields, before ending on the sandy coast line. In order to take part, you’ll need to pay a registration fee of £299 and raise sponsorship of £3450 – be warned though, this is a demanding trek that is not for the fainthearted!

Where? Kerala, India When? 18-27 November 2017

More info at: https://www.blindveterans.org.uk/what-you-can-do/events-calendar/kerala-trek/

Level 2 Coaching Qualifications

Have you ever fancied yourself as a football coach? Sporting Force have teamed up with Sheffield United and the Royal British Legion to provide a 5 day training week that will arm veterans with the qualification which could feasibly see ex-servicemen employed as future coaches in sport clubs or primary school settings. Although the qualification is a general sports one, the training will be focused on football and should give the veterans a good opportunity to learn some invaluable skills. There are only 16 places available, but those who fail to get in the first time will be put on a list for the second phase in February 2018.

Where? Phoenix House, Catterick When? 27th November 2017

More info at: http://www.sportingforce.org.uk/b/level-2-coaching-qualification

Upcoming Events: September-October

We’ve got a busy couple of months coming up!

If you’re a Gulf Veteran who’s looking to get involved in an outdoor activity, or a friend of a veteran who would like to raise some money for a worthy cause, then there are a number of great events being organised by big and small charities in the run up to this year’s Remembrance Day that you can take part in.

From international athletics competitions to uplifting concerts in the capital, there’s some great opportunities on the horizon – so get involved!

Invictus Games 2017

In 2014, Prince Harry created the Paralympic-style event in order to give wounded or injured armed service personnel the chance to compete at an international level. The first games were held in London at the Olympic Park, with the second games following in 2016, this time in Florida, USA. After another successful event, which saw 16 teams from different countries compete in a number of events, the next games were announced to be held in Toronto.

When? 24 September-30 September 2017 Where? Toronto

Visit https://invictusgamesfoundation.org/ for more info.

Driffield Dog Show

Although it might seem like half a world away from the games in Toronto, support for our veterans comes in all shapes and sizes! For the second year, the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association will be attending the Driffield Dog Show. The clue’s in the name, the Wetherby Racecourse & Conference Centre, which is equidistant between York and Harrogate, will be home to hundreds of dogs and their owners, all of whom will be hoping to pick up awards for their efforts. Make sure to stop by at the NGVFA’s stand to say ‘Hello’ and see how you can help out – entrance is free!

When? 28 September-1 October 2017 Where? Wetherby Racecourse, Wetherby

London Pride Concert

Thanks to the resounding success of last year’s London Pride, the Central Band of the Royal British Legion are back once more to wow another packed out audience – will you be one of them? Southwark Cathedral will once more be the venue, with musical director David Cole leading the Central Band through an evening’s programme of London-themed music, which is sure to create a truly uplifting ambience in such a grand historical setting. Tickets start as cheap as £10 with central nave seats costing £30.

When? 14 October 2017 Where? Southwark Cathedral, London

Buy tickets from: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/fundraise/special-events/london-pride-concert/

The Poppy Run

It’s never too late to start to take part in one of the 5km races that will be taking place all across the country throughout October and November this year. Take your friends, family and even your dog along for the ride. It’s up to you whether you decide to run, jog or walk, either way you’ll be raising money for a good cause. Entry fees, payable to the Royal British Legion, are £15 for an adult and £7.50 for 7-17 year olds – anyone younger can run for free! Whilst there is no minimum fundraising target, every penny that you raise will go to helping the armed forces community, including Gulf Veterans.

When? 28 October-5 November 2017 Where? Nationwide

Get more info at: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/fundraise/running-events/the-poppy-run/