England Head Coach Shaun Wane has thanked a key member of his support staff, Paul Sculthorpe MBE, for getting on his bike this weekend – to show his support for the Steve Prescott Foundation, and the national 2.6 Challenge.
The nation has been requested to make light of the lockdown on what would have been the weekend of the London Marathon, and give charities the boost they desperately need in such challenging times for the country.
The theme of 2.6 has been chosen to link to the 26 miles of the Marathon – a distance with which Sculthorpe is very familiar, having run the Paris and London Marathons on consecutive weekends with his inspirational former St Helens team-mate Steve Prescott in 2012, in addition to a string of 26-milers in the infamous Marathon des Sables three years later.
But for the 2.6 Challenge, the former Man of Steel has opted for something slightly different – and equally punishing – to show his continued support for the Foundation as it continues in Prescott’s memory.
Starting on Saturday morning at 6am Scully, who is the RFL’s England Pathways Coach meaning a special focus on the England Knights and the new England Knights Women squads, is going to ride a Wattbike - for 26 hours!
He’s linked up with Ewan Dowes, the former Hull FC prop who was a Challenge Cup Final winner in Cardiff in 2005 – and who has a number of gruelling challenges lined up himself for the next few weeks, with a focus on raising funds for three charities - Joining Jack, the St James’s Place Charitable Foundation, and the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) in support of Rob Burrow, his former Leeds Rhinos team-mate.
Shaun Wane said: “Congratulations to Scully and Ewan for taking on this 2.6 Challenge in support of so many worthy charities. I think it’s a great initiative, and with all the work being done by Rugby League Cares and the RFL, as usual our sport is playing its part this weekend.”
Paul Sculthorpe said: “As someone who loves training and keeping fit, I have always enjoyed a challenge, especially if it is supporting my good friend, the late great Steve Prescott and his Foundation. We will be hopefully setting up a virtual ride on Zwift, so people can login and join us along the way!
“The SPF have successfully helped a number of beneficiaries since 2006, including The Christie cancer hospital, The RFL Benevolent Fund, which supports severely injured players, also the SPF Special Causes Fund, which specialises in the research and treatment of Pseudomyxoma patients.
“However,like all charities 2020 so far has been a severely testing time. With virtually all fundraising events being cancelled and income streams drying up, I want to do everything I can to help the Foundation continue to not only help those in need, but continue to inspire people in the great man’s name. Many thanks for your support.”
But you can also join the 2.6 Challenge for RL Cares – and you don’t have to ride for 26 hours.
Watch out for further details later!