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Big Issue-backed rugby charity is world record holder after marathon match

School of Hard Knocks played rugby for 30 hours to raise £100,000 so they can help those on the blindside into employment

Spend the weekend lapping up the bank holiday sun? Spare a thought for the 46 athletes from School of Hard Knocks (SOHK) and Wooden Spoon who played full-contact rugby union for more than 30 HOURS in the heat to set a new world record.

The players pushed themselves to their physical and mental limits at the home of Premiership side London Irish, the Hazelwood Centre, with the scoreline finishing a mammoth 2210-1153 to SOHK.

SOHK even brought in England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning scrum-half and charity patron Andy Gomarsall MBE and former Scotland full-back Ben Hinshelwood in to the fundraising push.

Gomarsall said: “That was beyond brutal and one of the toughest things I’ve ever done in my life! The heat at times was unbearable.

“I’m delighted for both teams that we broke the record and with so much money being raised for such an important cause it was an unforgettable two days.”

The marathon rugby match aimed to raise £100,000 in aid of SOHK’s important work in using rugby as a vehicle to tackle unemployment and homelessness.

The record-breaking effort is the second time SOHK have held the title after playing for 28 hours and 30 minutes in 2015 before The Fire Fighters Charity toppled them in 2017.

“I’m delighted for everyone involved that we broke the world record,” said Ken Cowen, SOHK CEO and founder, said: “It was brutal for the players and our two amazing teams so a huge thanks to them all for putting their bodies and minds on the line.”

SOHK has been backed by Big Issue Invest, our social investment arm, who supported the charity with a £100,000 loan from its Impact Loans England programme.

So far, SOHK have raised £32,000. To donate to their cause, head here.

Image: School of Hard Knocks