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Firefighters take on SAS challenge for charity


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A group of Cambridgeshire firefighters are taking on a gruelling challenge, used as part of the SAS selection process, to raise money for charity.  

The group of six firefighters from across the county will be taking on The Fan Dance, a physically demanding 24 kilometre trek over Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons. They are due to take on the challenge on Saturday January 29.  

Firefighter Jon Yarnold, the organiser of the challenge, said: “We have chosen to take this on as it is extremely demanding. People can relate to how hard SAS training is, so this challenge really shows how much effort an determination is going to be needed by us all to complete it. It also shows how much the charities mean to us.”  

The infamous march is the world’s oldest Special Forces test and is used as the first major indicator of whether a candidate has the physical and mental aptitude to complete the legendary Selection course. 

Jon and the team are raising money for two causes, The Fire Fighters Charity and Iceni Amateur Boxing Club in South Cambridgeshire. He added: “We are supporting The Fire Fighters Charity as it’s an extremely important service that is offered to firefighter’s physical and mental health. They rely on funding from fundraisers like this in order to keep going. 

“The boxing club is also a non-profit club used by children with disabilities and some that can no longer attend school, as well as adults to help with their physical and mental health. It is run solely by volunteers. During the pandemic the club had to close due to the restrictions, but still needed to pay the rent for the premises. This has had a massive impact in the running of the club, with money for new equipment being needed for the running costs of the building.” 

The group has been training hard over the last few months, replicating the inclines on treadmills as well as long walks in the cold carrying the weight on their backs to simulate the conditions they’ll face.  

Jon added: “Anything raised will be a great benefit for both charities. The Fire Fighters Charity is a vital service for us, our families and retired firefighters when help is needed regarding physical and mental health.  

“The money raised for the boxing club will go towards new equipment, including new bags, ropes and gloves, as well as contribute towards a new ring and running costs. Anything that is donated will be greatly appreciated and used to help many individuals in the future.” 

The team will be taking the challenge on Saturday January 29. Anyone wanting to support can visit the Just Giving page here.

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