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Newbury Women are covering ground to raise money for Berkshire NHS

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The captains team of Lizzie Harris, Rosie Archard and Becky Wilson set the team a target

NEWBURY Women’s Rugby Club have embarked on a new challenge to raise vital funds for the Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.

They initially set themselves a challenge of travelling on foot from Newbury to Paris, and back again, a total of 684 miles.

But that changed because of the progress made and now the plan is to still cover the miles from Paris and back, but also to go to-and-from each city that hosts Six Nations matches – Rome, London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dublin – a total of 4,172 miles.

With national lockdown travel restrictions in place, each club member has been doing this around the area they live.

The women’s captaincy team of Lizzie Harris (captain), Rosie Archard and Becky Wilson (vice-captains) set the whole team the challenge.

Miss Harris said: "Due to Covid regulations we obviously cannot train at the moment and a big part of being a Blues family is the camaraderie and working hard together.

"Putting together a team challenge for the whole of January means we can bring the team together even though we are apart and still be competitive whilst doing so."

The club wanted to support the Berkshire NHS because of the support it has given to not only the rugby club, but also the whole country.

"We have numerous players on the team who work for the NHS, and so many of us have been grateful to receive treatment and services that the NHS provides us with.

"Over the past year it has shown that talking about mental health and checking up on those around you is so important, and we want to raise money and more awareness to battle the stigma of mental health, and that it is okay not to be okay and to reach out for help."

The NHS funds important mental health schemes such as talking therapies and during a difficult 12 months for a lot of people with the coronavirus pandemic, the rugby club are doing their bit.

"We wanted to encourage everyone to get outside and stay active, even more so because of the current climate due to another national lockdown,” Miss Harris added.

"We have had so much positive feed back from the women and from everyone getting involved.

"We are tracking how we’re doing on social media daily, with the women taking part uploading pictures and their mileage done each time they complete a little bit more."

If anyone would like to make any donations to their just giving page, the link is Newbury Women RFC is fundraising for Berkshire Health Charitable Fund (justgiving.com)

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