Connal’s Great Glen Armed Forces Challenge

Wed 12th April 2017

Foundation Director Connal Cochrane has taken on the ultimate army challenge to raise funds for the Foundation’s Armed Forces Partnership.

Connal will walk the length of the Great Glen – a gruelling 79 miles - in just two days as one continuous journey, all whilst carrying a heavy Army Bergen (a weighty pack of kit used by soldiers).  You can sponsor him and leave a message of support on Just Giving at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/connalgreatglenarmedforceschallenge and help our work with services-related charities.

Lt Commander Gary Farmer from the Royal Navy, who has helped Connal prepare for the challenge, said, “The Royal Navy are happy to be supporting Connal’s latest challenge to raise funds for such worthy causes.  Each year he pushes himself to do something more extreme and demonstrates many of the Core values that the Naval Service promotes; Courage, Commitment, Discipline, Respect for Others, Integrity and Loyalty!  The Challenge he has set himself is no mean feat, but we also recognise the time and effort that he has put in, just to train for the event alone. We will support him step by step along the way and appreciate the great work the Rangers Charity Foundation has done to support the Armed Forces & Service Veterans.”

Connal is no stranger to taking on a challenge for the Foundation, having previously completed diverse challenges such as swimming the Corryvreckan Strait between Jura and Scarba, participating in the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice’s A Little Less Strictly Come Dancing event, cycling 300 miles from Ibrox to Stoke in 3 days and climbing 100 Munros in a year. 

He commented, “I really wanted to do a challenge this season for our Armed Forces Partnership  which is supporting four services-related charities - Erskine, Combat Stress, The Rifles Regimental Trust’s Care For Casualties appeal and Poppyscotland.  So it made sense to take on a challenge that was related to the training our serving personnel go through.

“Army, SAS and Marine recruits all do a long continuous walk with a heavy pack as part of their training and in association with some of our friends in the services, whom we work with when co-ordinating Armed Forces Day at Ibrox and Remembrance Day, we came up with this gruelling challenge.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time, but with less than two months to go before the challenge, the pressure is definitely on!”

The Great Glen Way stretches for 79 miles from coast to coast across the Highlands, linking Fort William and Inverness.   The challenge will take place early in June and the Royal Marines and Army will be providing Connal with logistical support, motivation and company over the course of the two days.

“I’ve been working hard in the gym since November with some great personal training support from Ralph Gamba to build up some core strength for the challenge and I received early backing from 3 Rifles at Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh,” Connal explained, “I’m now turning my attention to doing some long distance training walks over the next 2 months during the lead up to the challenge itself.”

“I’m planning a walk along the first section of the West Highland Way from Milnagavie to Drymen and back on 28 May and would love to see some of the Foundation’s supporters come along and join me on the day, and perhaps get sponsored too to contribute to our fundraising for our Armed Forces Partnership. 

“Anyone who would like to come and join me would be very welcome, either for the first 12 miles of the training walk from Bearsden to Drymen or the second 12 miles too (back again to Bearsden and 24 miles total!), and if they raise over £100 in sponsorship they would also become a True Blue Hero and would be invited into Ibrox to receive their True Blue Hero medal from a first team player at one of our popular receptions.  Any support at all would be fantastic.”

“I am also planning an event at Ibrox on Thursday 11 May in support of my challenge.  I’m hoping to tempt some 9 In A Row icons along to Ibrox for an exclusive Question and Answer session in the Thornton Suite with a curry and complimentary drink beforehand in the Members Club, which should be a great night.  Tom Miller will be bringing his expert hosting skills and John Brown and Mark Hateley are already confirmed.  Tickets are just £35 and  watch this space for more guest announcements!”

If you would like to join Connal on his training walk from Milnagavie to Drymen on Sunday 28 May, please contact the Foundation for further details on 0141 580 8775, or e-mail Connal at rangerscharity@rangers.co.uk

You can also sponsor Connal and support our work with Armed Forces charities at - www.justgiving.com/fundraising/connalgreatglenarmedforceschallenge 

Tickets for the special fundraising event on Thursday 11 May in support of Connal’s challenge are also now on sale – follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date!

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