Jon Wells on 3 Peaks Challenge
Posted: Friday 22nd November 2019 - 9:38 AM
Director of Rugby at Castleford Tigers Jon Wells discusses the idea behind the pre-season challenge and wanting to raise vital funds for The Prince of Wales Hospice.
The whole Tigers First Team and coaching staff will face the three Yorkshire peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough on Saturday, 30th November with the aim of completing the challenge under 12 hours in a bid to raise funds for the club’s official charity partner.
DONATE to support the team taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks and help the The Prince of Wales Hospice in Pontefract.
It will be a tough finish to the third week of the Fords’ 2020 pre-season but that’s the whole point, it’s a challenge for all the team which will be a great team bonding exercise and will raise funds for a worthwhile cause. It brings a close to the club’s fundraising efforts for The Prince of Wales Hospice this year, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2019, Jon Wells discusses how the idea came to be for the Tigers to take on this challenge.
“Well it was initially discussed with the coaching staff out in Catalans last year, what could we do in pre-season that was a little bit different that would be a challenge for the boys but also something that could contribute to the local community. The Prince of Wales Hospice and Castleford Tigers have enjoyed a long-standing relationship and we hope we’ve been good for them with some of the projects we’ve done this year, particularly the Academy lads who have participated in volunteering work there.”
“Our Head of Strength & Conditioning Jamie Bell came up with the idea, he’s a bit of an outward bounds type of guy, and it’s a tough challenge to knock off in a day. It can really be championed as a challenge for the boys with some new faces coming in to bring the group together but we also wanted to reaffirm our commitment to the club’s charity partner and all the great work they do, which I’ve seen first-hand with my family over the years. We’re asking people to put their hands in their pockets and contribute and hopefully we can have a good laugh with the boys on the way. I think we’ll be starting in the dark and finishing in the dark and that's the nucleus of the idea; something different, something challenging in a different environment and we’ll see how they cope.”
The Prince of Wales Hospice offers care for patients in the local area with life-limiting illnesses and relies on raising over £5,000 each day to continue operating. All care is provided for free and is entirely based on need, only around 25% of the cost is covered by the NHS and so out of every £1 raised by the Hospice, 87p is spent directly on patient care. Castleford Tigers have had a long relationship with the charity, and it’s been one that has positively affected players and staff as Jon Wells explains.
“I know my life has been touched by it, there are a couple of guys in the team who’ve been touched by it and had experiences with the Hospice as well, despite the nature of interactions with the charity they’ve been positive and fulfilling experiences on the whole and I’m sure that there are people in the Castleford and Five Towns area who have had experiences of their own. The level of service and care that patients get can only be maintained by the generosity of this community. So, if we can do something as a club, as a focal point and try to focus people’s generosity then I think that is the least we can do.”
There are five new faces in the Tigers ranks for 2020 and this challenge promises to be a great experience for the players both old and new to come together and bond. Wells has been incredibly pleased with how well the 2020 recruits have begun pre-season with the intent to work hard.
“The new lads have been brilliant, Danny Richardson has been outstanding since he’s come in from day one, George Griffin’s stock has obviously risen in 2019 so he’s proved to be a very good acquisition and I think fans are starting to see what we saw in him. All of them; Tyla, Derrell, Danny & George are good fellas, good people and I think that is ultimately the most important thing integrating into a new group and a lot of them have made the move to be within the local area. Sosaia Feki has landed in the UK and he’ll be joining us in time for the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge as well so, what a great way to announce your arrival.”
Wells further added; “What I have seen and have noticed being in and around the team in this first two weeks is the real positive attitude and real will to do the work, it sounds awful – it’s their job and they’re expected to do that but you can come to work and do your job and go home. Or you can come to work with a smile on your face and really contribute by ripping in before thinking about what you’ve done and try think of ways to improve tomorrow and do even better. That’s what we are seeing and we’re seeing it more frequently, more consistently and it’s really pleasing for Daryl and the coaching staff.”
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