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Friday 29 April 2016

Soldiers will cycle and swim to Paris for ShelterBox – without ever leaving Rutland!
Soldiers will cycle and swim to Paris for ShelterBox – without ever leaving Rutland!

Next Wednesday soldiers from 7 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps have set themselves the gruelling task of cycling and swimming the equivalent distance from their barracks to Paris - over 380 miles.

On 4 May a group of seven soldiers will take seven hours to cycle and swim all the way from Kendrew Barracks near Cottesmore in Rutland, across the English Channel, arriving in the centre of Paris.

But, despite all their physical and fundraising effort, they won’t be celebrating under the Eiffel Tower, as the whole event takes place in the gym hall and pool at nearby St George’s Barracks at North Luffenham.

The event, in support of UK disaster relief charity ShelterBox and the Army Benevolent Fund, is the brainchild of Craftsman Sam Wilson of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Cfn Wilson is currently attached to 7 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, and is the grandson of long-term ShelterBox supporters Gerry and Pam Heaslip.

Cfn Wilson and his colleagues will use ‘Watt Bike’ static cycling machines, which measure speed and the equivalent distance covered, to cycle a total of 360 miles. The remaining 21 miles will be a near-marathon swim in the pool, mirroring the distance from Shakespeare’s Cliff near Dover to Cap Gris-Nez’ near Boulogne. In somewhat calmer waters though!

The whole distance will be against the clock, with the target of completing ‘Kendrew Barracks to Paris’ within seven hours.

Gerry and Pam Heaslip will attend on behalf of ShelterBox. Enthusiastic volunteers, the Heaslips have worked with North West Region Scouts to raise thousands for the charity, and even took a ShelterBox demo box with them on their Lake District anniversary break to give a talk to local Cub Scouts.

7 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps is made up of army logistics specialists, drivers, chefs, vehicle mechanics, artificers and clerks who provide support to global operations and exercises. They also take part in many sporting events across the world, and soldiers from the regiment represent the Army and Combined Services in several sporting disciplines, including football, triathlon, mountain biking, netball and boxing.

ShelterBox is a Cornwall-based international disaster relief organisation providing rapid response emergency shelter and essential supplies for families affected by natural disasters or conflict. Currently its response teams are working in Ecuador following the major earthquake, and on the Fiji islands after a record-breaking Pacific cyclone. 7 Regiment RLC has a number of Fijian soldiers.


A cyclist from 7 Regiment RLC on a cycling sporting event. Photo credit: granddayoutphotography.co.uk   

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