RUGBY League legends Kevin Sinfield MBE, Barrie McDermott and Terry O’Connor will scale new heights next month by joining Lizzie Jones and 20 other madcap volunteers on an epic adventure to raise funds for the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund.
Kevin, Barrie, Terry, Lizzie and Co are aiming to complete the National Three Peaks Challenge, an epic ascent and descent of the highest mountains in Wales, Scotland and England.
The walkers have just 24 hours over the weekend of June 10 and 11 in which to scale Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon and complete a challenge which is regarded as one of the UK’s toughest physical and mental tests.
“I’m really looking forward to it, honestly I am!” said Kevin Sinfield, the RFL’s Director of Rugby who has just completed the London marathon for the first time.
“The marathon was great but it’s very much an individual event: the opportunity to do the Three Peaks Challenge as part of a fantastic team was something I jumped at, especially as it’s for such a brilliant cause.
“Lizzie has done some terrific work with the defibrillator fund in circumstances that few of us can imagine and I’m delighted to do what I can to ensure Danny’s memory leaves a lasting legacy.”
Barrie McDermott, who is now a member of the Sky Sports Rugby League commentary team alongside fellow ex-Ireland and Great Britain prop Terry O’Connor, is also relishing the challenge.
“The Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund has done so much good for the game and it’s great to able to lend them my support,” said Barrie.
“I climbed Kilimanjaro with the Steve Prescott Foundation a couple of years ago but everyone keeps telling me this is going to be tougher.
“It’s going to be such an immense sense of achievement when we come down from the last mountain, especially as we’re probably going to be carrying ‘Tez’ a lot of the way. He was never the fittest of blokes even when he was playing!”
Terry said: “Unlike Barrie I’ve looked after myself since I retired and I’m sure I’ll do all right. It’s going to be the furthest I’ve ever walked but at least I won’t be as carrying as much weight as Barrie!
“Lizzie has been an inspiration to us all and with the support of the other walkers it’s going to be 24 hours none of us will ever forget.
“More importantly, the money we raise will offer life-saving protection to players, officials and supporters at Rugby League clubs around the UK.”
The Three Peaks Challenge is sponsored by Give Local, a magazine which promotes the work of charities across Yorkshire.
The Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund was set up by Lizzie Jones after her husband, Danny collapsed and died from an undiagnosed heart defect while playing for Keighley Cougars in the summer of 2015.
Since then, the Fund has helped community Rugby League clubs purchase defibrillators which can make the difference between life and death when someone has suffered a cardiac arrest.
Lizzie Jones said: “It’s great that Kevin, Terry and Barrie and the other walkers have given up their time to support the defibrillator fund on the Three Peaks Challenge.
“The support we have had from the whole Rugby League family since Danny’s death has been incredible and I’m sure they’ll get behind us as we look to complete the Three Peaks.
“Tens of thousands of people now watch Rugby League every weekend safe in the knowledge that a defibrillator is present in case of emergency.
“The defibrillator fund is also assisting community clubs to conduct cardiac screening on their players and the money we raise on the challenge will allow to do more.”
Please show your support to Lizzie, Kevin, Barrie, Terry and the other walkers by making a donation to the Three Peaks Challenge via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/LizzieJones6