Rugby lads put their best foot forward for charity

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A group of players from Stornoway Rugby Club are to embark on a gruelling five-day trek as they aim to cover the entire distance of the Outer Hebrides, from the Butt to Barra, on foot.

The charity fund-raiser will see them average over 40 kilometres a day, staying in various places overnight and even camping when the need arises.

Twelve players have signed up for the entire walk, with others joining for some of the way.

It will take place from Monday 27th July to Saturday 1st August.

The club are looking to raise money for charity, with the Bethesda Care Home and Hospice in Stornoway being the main beneficiary of any money donated towards the walk.

Iain MacKinnon (22), one of the organisers, said: “We sat down one night and thought what we could do as a fund-raiser that also helps to raise awareness of the club in the community.

“Then we thought ‘Why not walk the whole of the Western Isles?’ We thought about what local charity to support and Bethesda is certainly very worthwhile.

“It’s going to be a challenge but we are looking forward to it.”

Fellow organiser Shaun Smith (1S) added: “We’ve trained a bit for it, just going on regular long walks and increasing the distance all the time. If the weather is good, it’s going to be great and if the weather’s not nice - and let’s face it, it could well be here in the islands, well it’ll just be more of a challenge. Whatever, it’s certainly going to be different.”

The Bethesda Hospice is located in Stornoway and offers both care home facilities and, crucially, palliative care and is supported by local church organisations and fundraising.

The decision to opt for Bethesda as the beneficiary of the charity walk came as a number of the players have family members and relations who have been cared for at the facility.

Bethesda fund-raiser DR MacDonald said: “We are delighted that the members and players of Stornoway Rugby Club have selected Bethesda as their chosen charity.

“We wish them all the best as they traverse the route from the Butt to Barra and would like to thank all their supporters and sponsors.”

Pictured are Iain ‘Fish’ MacKinnon, Shaun Smith, Richard MacLeod, DR MacLeod of Bethesda, Chris Adams, Andy MacLeod, John Campbell and Dave Mackay.