“Our Club as a whole has been amazing in pulling together to ensure this event is a success.
“I first became aware of Tŷ Hafan in the 2020 lockdown. I was looking for charities for our lockdown challenge and thought it would be a great idea to help a smaller charity for children.
“We have a few children at London Welsh who have some health issues and they have been at the forefront of raising money for Tŷ Hafan.
“As a club we wanted to reach out to children who we know are in a difficult situation and show them we care about them. We wanted to do our bit to provide funds and make sure people were aware of the hard work done by Tŷ Hafan.
“As the Lions will be playing in Johannesburg we set on the London Welsh Lions Challenge – we set ourselves the target of travelling 11,000km, the distance between London Welsh Rugby Club and Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.
“We had approximately 600 people take part in this challenge, aged between five-years-old and 80. Many are based in London, and we’ve also had support from club members in Brighton, Wales and Scotland. We started on Friday July 2 and finished on Sunday July 4 and in the event covered more than 6,000km.
“Our Brighton Reds team is mostly made up of pensioners in Brighton. Our Possums team includes people aged between 30 and 80 years old based around the UK, including Wales, Scotland and England.
“We also had a London Welsh “vets” rugby team, plus members of our women’s team took part, as did every age group from the under 6s up to the under 18s.
“Everyone who took part put in a huge effort, and there are too many great stories to tell individually. Here are just two examples of the level of commitment shown by our London Welsh family:
“We have an 80-year-old who currently receiving cancer treatment, and who was ill with Covid just a few months ago who walked 10km for us on the Saturday.
“And at the other end of the age spectrum is Johnny, who is eight. He has cystic fibrosis and is currently in hospital receiving treatment. Despite the fact that he’s not been very well, he cycled 23.8km for us. As his dad, Dan, said: 'Johnny’s been a super star doing about 10 - 15km a day - - he is not well at all and having a lot of treatment but staying positive.’”
“Having done so our club has been really impressed by the work of Tŷ Hafan and wanted to find out more information. We have also kept children, parents and grandparents involved.
“July was always going to be tough but the level of engagement and commitment that people have shown is above expectations.
“The easiest thing in the world would be to take a back seat now. But we’re saying to those children who rely on funding via Tŷ Hafan that we care ... and our club cares by every km covered, every tweet and every £1 raised!”