From Tuesday 30th September – Thursday 2nd October, Andy Halliday and Jon Bleby – Team Manager and Assistant Coach of the GB Men’s Hockey Team – took on a monumental challenge: The NOW: Pensions Mountain Dribble. The two members of the GB Men’s hockey coaching staff not only took on the infamous Three Peaks Challenge, but they consistently dribbled a hockey ball for a total time of seventeen hours and twenty five minutes, well within their twenty four hours of dribbling target and something no one has ever attempted before.
Watch the video of Andy and Jon’s journey:
To sponsor Andy and Jon please visit their Virgin Money Giving page here
Giving themselves three days, fifteen balls and a lot of physical and emotional strength, Andy and Jon successfully completed the challenge. Dribbling up and down Ben Nevis in eight hours and six minutes, Scafell Pike in five hours and thirty minutes and Mount Snowdon in three hours and forty-nine minutes they completed the challenge well under their twenty four hour target.
In total the pair covered twenty six miles (roughly the same distance GB Captain Barry Middleton covered during the Commonwealth Games), hit the ball on average 72,000 times and ascended and descended over 11,000 feet without picking the ball up once.
Andy Halliday said: “I am physically and mentally exhausted. There have been moments where I doubted whether this would be possible. However, with a fantastic support team behind us and a positive mental approach, we were able to stretch every sinew to overcome the many challenges. I am so pleased that we were able to raise funds for WellChild and Access Sport and increase the profile of both charities. My current feelings echo the words of the great Sir Steve Redgrave. If anybody sees me with a hockey stick and ball going near a mountain, you have permission to shoot me!”
Jon Bleby said: “A tremendously enjoyable, but painful experience, with so many different challenges and problems. Ultimately, it is all about the fundraising, it has been inspiring to be able to help both WellChild and Access Sport”
With the support of NOW: Pensions, proud sponsor of GB Men’s Hockey, Andy and Jon have been able to raise money for two very deserving charities: WellChild, the Official Charity Partner of England Hockey and Access Sport.
Colin Dyer, Chief Executive of WellChild said: “We are delighted that Andy Halliday and Jon Bleby decided to take part in their exciting and slightly crazy, Three Peaks hockey challenge to raise money for WellChild. Not only will the funds they raise for us help our work for seriously ill children and their families across the UK but the tremendous publicity and support their challenge has generated will help spread the message of WellChild’s work across the country.”
Mark Hardie, Chief Executive of Access Sport said: “We are very grateful to have the support from the NOW: Pensions Mountain Dribble Team, who have taken on this tough challenge to raise funds for Access Sport. These funds will help more young people have access to sport and all the benefits that sport provides in some of the UK’s most disadvantaged areas.”
Commenting on the challenge, NOW: Pensions CEO Morten Nilsson said: “This challenge was, in every way, an uphill struggle for the guys and it’s been fascinating following them on their incredible journey over the past three days. Despite facing unkind weather conditions, Andy and Jon still managed to complete the challenge with big smiles on their faces. This is an amazing achievement and I wish them both a very well-deserved rest this weekend”.
For more information on the NOW: Pensions Mountain Dribble follow @NOWhockey, @andyhalliday3 and @JonBleby. Show your support for the guys using #NOWdribble.
• Andy Halliday and Jon Bleby, Great Britain’s Team Manager and Assistant Coach complete NOW: Pensions Mountain Dribble to raise money for WellChild and Access Sport.
• Jon & Andy dribbled hockey balls up and down the Three Peaks in the following times:
• Ben Nevis – 8 hours, 6 minutes.
• Scafell Pike – 5 hours, 30 minutes.
• Mount Snowdon – 3 hours, 49 minutes.
• Total dribbling time – 17hrs, 25 minutes.
Source: GB Hockey
Photographs: GB Hockey/Addy Kerry