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‘It was exceptional’ - rugby players raise more than £16k for hospital

PUBLISHED: 17:43 07 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:43 07 May 2020

The sun came up over the club as the relay ended. Pictured in the middle is First team captain Ed Ballam with his mum, an NHS worker Picture: THURSTON RUGBY CLUB

The sun came up over the club as the relay ended. Pictured in the middle is First team captain Ed Ballam with his mum, an NHS worker Picture: THURSTON RUGBY CLUB

THURSTON RUGBY CLUB

Rugby players have raised an “amazing” amount of money for West Suffolk Hospital by completing a socially-distanced relay.

Oliver Paxman, who came up with the idea for the fundraiser, started it off Picture: THURSTON RUGBY CLUBOliver Paxman, who came up with the idea for the fundraiser, started it off Picture: THURSTON RUGBY CLUB

The 180-mile fundraiser for the hospital in Bury St Edmunds involved 52 players from Thurston Rugby Club and took place over 24 hours.

MORE: ‘We want to give back to those who have given us so much’ - rugby players’ socially-distanced relay for hospital

The figure raised for the hospital’s MyWiSH charity has now surpassed £16,000, smashing the £10k target.

Matt Ansell, sponsor secretary at the club, said: “It was just exceptional. We finished about two hours ahead of schedule, just as the sun was coming up over the club.”

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The relay began outside West Suffolk Hospital on the morning of May 2 and finished the following day at Thurston Rugby Club’s ground.

Mr Ansell added: “Not only has it generated some funding for MyWiSH, but it’s really engaged with the players.

“The club is somewhere 30 of the guys go three times a week for training and games and to have that taken away is isolating, and that’s [the relay is] really something that has been able to pull the entire squad together.”

He said the relay was something everyone involved with could be “really proud of” and take forward in terms of team spirit into next year.

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