Rugby club completes 'five stadium challenge' to raise money for local food bank in coronavirus pandemic

A rugby club from Gateshead has successfully covered over 3,000 miles on a weekend campaign to raise money for vulnerable people in their community, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gateshead RFC originally set a target of raising £500 for Gateshead Foodbank over the Bank Holiday, but it was well exceeded, with the fundraising page currently showing almost £5,000 in donations.

Members, players and supporters completed the return distance to rugby stadiums in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France.

The club, which is based at Hedley Lawson Park in Low Fell, originally created a 554-mile challenge to walk, run and cycle the distance from their club to Twickenham Stadium, home of England Rugby, and back.

But as the campaign progressed over the weekend, the club says the enthusiasm "started to snowball" and more routes were added to the list.

Here's a list of the completed challenges:

  • Twickenham (London)

  • Murrayfield (Edinburgh)

  • The Millenium Stadium (Cardiff)

  • Aviva Stadium (Dublin)

  • Stade de France (Paris)

Participants tracked their efforts during the campaign Credit: Gateshead RFC

The decision to create the campaign came after COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of the annual Gateshead Beer Festival and VE Day 75th anniversary celebrations.

Instead, players from the club coached by former Newcastle Falcons player Matt Thompson, came up with their own idea to raise money for a good cause.