Military medics undertake Bastion to Birmingham charity challenge

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The controlled explosion of a German Second World War parachute mine created a 300-foot (91m) plume off Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex

The 20-strong elite team hope to raise at least £3,580, to be split between the military patients’ fund within the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) Norton House, Troop Aid, and the Mickey Vaggs Trust at the Army Benevolent Fund.

The challenge started at on Saturday, 23 July, and is due to end today, Monday 25 July 2011. They have been joined on the challenge by rugby ace, Jason Robinson.

The team is made up from personnel across the Services who are normally based at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM), the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Headley Court, the Defence School for Healthcare Studies (Birmingham), and the Army Training Regiment (ATR) Bassingbourne (Cambridgeshire).

Very seriously ill servicemen and women who are injured on operations are flown back from Camp Bastion to the RCDM at Queen Elizabeth Hospital to receive world-class, and often life-saving, medical treatment.

Squadron Leader Chris Stagles, adjutant of the RCDM, said:

We hope that by doing this challenge we will not only be raising vital funds, but also highlighting the work of these fantastic organisations to the wider community. It is our way of giving something back to the organisations that give so much to our Service personnel.

Corporal Klepacz, Sergeant Mike Potts, Senior Aircraftman Colin Hudson and Jason Robinson ride for Service charities
Corporal Klepacz, Sergeant Mike Potts, Senior Aircraftman Colin Hudson and Jason Robinson ride for Service charities [Picture: Senior Aircraftwoman Claire Mainwaring, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

The elite team will do one hour running or cycling, with one hour rest. Over the 48-hour period team members have each undertaken 19 stints to complete the challenge. Other volunteers have stepped in to carry on the journey whilst the elite team are resting.

Sergeant Chris Armstrong, who is the team leader for the challenge, said:

We want to say a huge thank you to Jason for taking part in Bastion2Birmingham. It’s a real privilege to be undertaking this challenge alongside an international rugby star. We’ll be covering 75 miles [121km] each hour during our challenge and it will test us to the limit.

Former England rugby international, Jason Robinson said he was looking forward to raising funds as a team member in the Birmingham2Bastion event:

I am fully committed to the Charity event at the end of the month and am spending time preparing so that I can help the Charity raise as much money as possible.

People who would like to donate money to the challenge can do so through