This rugby blog is with Gavin Shelton, who along with the other players taking part in the Scotty's Little Soldiers Guinness world record attempt at a 25 hour full contact rugby match on May 31st at Welford Road. Find out more about the game at the Scotty's website, and how the attempt is raising money for the families of fallen servicemen.
Today’s been a busy day. Most days are busy days, really. I’m two months into a 15-month language course and along with training for the SLS match, if I’m not in a classroom I’ll be in a gym. I must say I’m feeling pretty drained!
This time next week, we’ll have, hopefully, finished our world record rugby match attempt at Welford Road. It seems a little surreal. I’ve been so busy with work and training I haven’t had much of a chance to think where we are in the calendar. All of a sudden we’re just days away from what will be a huge achievement.
It’s an achievement I have absolutely no doubt we will accomplish. Yes, we all know just how tough it will be, but we have a common goal – a very important common goal to every one of us.
You can sit around all day and hear the lads tell tales of when they were up in the Brecons at 3am in the freezing cold, with the rain coming into their tents sideways. They’ll tell you they retreated into their own place and I think that will be the same sort of mentality on Friday. I haven’t seen the weather forecast yet but the way it’s been recently, it could well be a case of being in Welford Road at 3am, freezing cold with rain coming at us sideways as we try to catch a rugby ball!
A big factor will be the support we get. Come kick off time I’m sure everyone in the stadium will be emotional and I think I speak for all the guys when I say the support we get there throughout the 25 hours will make a huge difference to us and inspire us. I’ve got a lot of friends coming down to the ground. Although whether that’s to support or heckle, I’m not quite sure!
Of course, the reason behind SLS is to support the families of fallen military personnel. I don’t want to make this blog a political statement, but obviously the events which unfolded in Woolwich on Wednesday will have had a big effect on everyone involved with Scotty’s.
As I said earlier, I’ve been really busy and feeling pretty drained with everything going on but this happening has almost acted as a little kick to remind me just why we are doing it. Another child has lost their father, in the most horrendous of circumstances.
Whatever we are all feeling as players training for this game, I’m sure there will be a resolute determination among us all to show people this is who we are, what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. This tragedy has come at a very pertinent time.
But personally, as I said, I’ve been training hard and I now feel ready for it. The last time I wrote, I was a little concerned because I hadn’t done a huge amount and was just getting back into the training regime. I’ve been working with PTs, doing gym work, kick boxing and running, and I’m in good shape for the match.
From now on in, it’s about stretching and relaxing and just getting ready for it. I have no doubt we will achieve the world record – what I’m not sure about is how I’ll feel after we’ve achieved it! I think it will take a while for it to sink in and then we’ll say to each other, ‘you know what, we’ve done something pretty big here’.
Seeing the guys’ Facebook statuses and tweets going up has made me really, really excited about it. The nerves are starting to creep in but above all, I’m just raring to go.
Wish us look and I hope to see you at Welford Road.
Read more about the Scotty's challenge on their Living Rugby page.