A charity rugby match has been organised to raise the profile of a Scarborough firefighter’s fundraising world record attempt.
On April 6 the Scarborough Gulls XV will take on the North Yorkshire Fire Service’s Rugby Section at Scarborough Rugby Club, followed by a black tie dinner hosted by ex British Lions and England player John Bentley.
The event, organised by Scarborough firefighters Justin Rowe and Kevin Scorer, will not only raise funds for the MacMillan Cancer Trust and The Firefighters Charity, but will also raise the profile of Mr Rowe’s 2013 New York City Fire House Run.
In September this year Mr Rowe will be joined by Ryedale station manager Andrew Blades, Whitby station manager Mark Naylor and York ﬁreﬁghter Terrence Gregg as they attempt to run to every fire house in New York in seven days.
Their challenge, which is due to set a new world record, is raising money for the Stephen Siller Foundation, supporting US firefighters, and the UK Fire Fighter Charity.
Mr Rowe, who lives in Scarborough and is watch manager at Malton Fire Station, said: “I played rugby years ago and we have held a few charity matches, so we thought it we would be a good idea to organise another to raise money and also raise the profile of the Fire House Run.
“We’re raising money for the Firefighters Charity, and also MacMillan. It’s the chosen charity for the Rugby Club, and a charity everyone can relate to.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to Scarborough Rugby Club for hosting this event on behalf of everyone in the fire service.
“It will be the official start of our UK fundraising for the Fire House Run.
“In terms of training for that we are on plan and where we should be. We have got a good training programme and are running about 40 miles a week now.”
Preparations are well underway for the New York City Fire House Run with Mr Rowe and Mr Blades set to confirm the exact running routes at the end of the month.
Following this the route will be sent to partner firefighters in New York to confirm over night stops for the Winnebago in which the team will be sleeping during their challenge. The team are due to start at Staten Island, and run through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx and Harlem.
The local firefighters will be running for seven days, covering between 25 and 35 miles a day, after which they will join their partners and families, along with 40,000 other people to take part in New York’s annual Tunnel to Tower Run, which is held in memory of New York ﬁre ﬁghter Stephen Siller who came off duty and ran 5k with 70lbs of equipment to join his colleagues at the Twin Towers and sadly lost his life.
Mr Rowe and his colleagues will then lay a wreath at Ground Zero on behalf of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in memory of the New York Fire Department and First Responders who lost their lives during 9-11.
The 2013 New York City Fire House Run will be promoted at the charity rugby match in April, where Mr Rowe and his team will be on hand to talk about their plans, and a project stand will display maps and information.
There will also be a guess the mileage competition with a cash prize for whoever correctly predicts the exact distance the team covers.
The game will kick off at 5pm, followed by the black tie dinner which will feature a charity auction of memorabilia including a pair of England and Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverly’s signed football boots, as well as rugby and cricket items.
Tickets are £35 each and are available by telephoning 07809244581 or 07809642739.
The team are no strangers to fund-raising challenges. In September 2011 Mr Rowe, Mr Blades, Mr Naylor and Mr Gregg, joined by Pete Schoﬁeld, ran 217 miles from Southport to Hornsea in aid of Help for Heroes.
That followed a cross country run in 2009 when Mr Rowe and Mr Gregg, Mr Naylor, Mr Schoﬁeld and Adrian Riley raised £10,000 for the charity by running from London to York.