Falcons Academy coaching duo James Ponton and Mark Laycock will be helping to raise funds for the clubs new charity partner, the Teenage Cancer Trust this August when they take on a coast to coast endurance challenge.
The pair will attempt to travel on foot from the Irish Sea on the West Coast of Cumbria to the North Sea on the East Coast in Newcastle in under 24 hours, covering a total of 81 miles without sleep. All donations will be split 50:50 between a Falcons Academy Tour Fund and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Academy Manager, Laycock said "Jimmy and I were talking about raising some money for a tour next summer and decided a coast to coast bike ride would be good fun. Unfortunately Jimmy's quite competitive so a bike ride over two days soon turned into a run over one day. His nick name is 'the iron man' so it was inevitable that he would want to take things to the extreme at some point."
Laycock continued, "At first we weren't even sure if it was physically possible to run 81 miles in one day but then we heard about 'The Wall', which is a 69 mile trek across Hadrian's Wall, and when our S+C coach Grant Beasley did some maths calculations we figured it can be done as long as we don't stop to take in the scenery. Unfortunately we don't have much time left to train for over three marathons in a day but we will give it a go and hopefully we can uphold our Academy motto of 'if you are not going all the way, why go at all'."
Since becoming the club’s official charity partner in April, the Falcons and Teenage Cancer Trust have been working together to increase awareness of the work provided by the trust and Laycock feels taking on this challenge whilst supporting Teenage Cancer Trust makes perfect sense,
"When you read into it, it’s quite startling how many young people are affected by cancer in the region and how much it costs to give them a better quality of life. Whether it’s their education programme or the two hospital units at the RVI and Freeman hospitals, the work delivered is fantastic so anything we can do to raise awareness can only be positive."
To support Mark and James and help raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Academy tour fund, please make your donation to the following details.
Allied Irish Bank (GB), Collingwood Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1HE
Account Name – Newcastle Rugby Ltd Number 2 Account
Account Number – 00801178
Sort Code – 23-92-82