Connal’s 54 in 20 Army Challenge

Fri 22nd February 2019

Rangers Charity Foundation Director Connal Cochrane will soon be taking on his latest endurance challenge, supported by members of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, to raise funds for the Foundation’s Armed Forces Fund.  Helping to promote better mental health is also an important message for Connal, which he intends to share as he prepares for his next big fundraising adventure.

Connal is targeting a walk of 54 gruelling miles - celebrating Rangers League Titles – within a blistering time of just 20 hours!  Supported and accompanied by members of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Connal will set off at dawn on Thursday 2 May from Gairlochy north of Fort William with LCpl David Millar and LCpl Greg Ritchie, before joining the West Highland Way on its route south through the Highlands, all the way to the finish line at Strathfillan, four miles beyond Tyndrum. 

You can sponsor him and leave a message of support on Justgiving here or join Connal on one of his training walks and help boost your own mental health during the lead up to the challenge.  All money raised will support the Rangers Charity Foundation’s special Armed Forces Fund, which this season will assist The Coming Home Centre in Govan, SSAFA, Poppyscotland and a number of other forces and veterans related good causes.

Captain Jason Craig, Royal Regiment of Scotland, who is helping Connal prepare for the challenge along with his team, said “The Army are happy to be supporting Connal in his latest challenge to raise funds for such worthy causes. 

"Every year he pushes himself to do something more extreme and he demonstrates many of the core values that the Army also live by; Courage, Discipline, Respect for Others, Integrity, Loyalty and Selfless Commitment!"

“This year’s challenge like many before is no mean feat both physically and mentally.  He has committed much time, effort and hard work to prepare himself for such a task and we will support him step by step along the way as we appreciate the great work the Rangers Charity Foundation has done to support the Armed Forces and Service Veterans over the years”.

Connal, 50, is now a veteran of fundraising challenges for the Foundation, having previously completed a swim across the Corryvreckan Strait between Jura and Scarba, participated in the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice’s A Little Less Strictly Come Dancing event, cycled 300 miles from Ibrox to Stoke, climbed 100 Munros in a year and more recently walked all 81 miles of the Great Glen Way with the Royal Navy in 34 hours.  His personal challenges have raised over £37,000 for the Foundation over the years and the lengths he will go to for the Foundation are incredible!

Join Connal on a Training Walk

You can join Connal for one of his following training walks:

  • Saturday 2 March – Glasgow to Kilsyth along the Forth & Clyde Canal (12 miles)
  • Sunday 10 March – Drymen to Milngavie (12 miles)
  • Saturday 6 April – Balmaha to Milngavie (18 miles) accompanied by members of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Saturday 13 or Sunday 14 April - Glasgow to Kilsyth along the Forth & Clyde Canal…and back again! (24 miles)

All walks will start at 9am and anyone who is keen to join Connal for one of these walks can contact him by emailing rangerscharity@rangers.co.uk.

Support our Armed Forces Fund and become a True Blue Hero

This could be a brilliant opportunity for anyone who would like to do a bit of fundraising themselves, to support our Armed Forces Fund and become a True Blue Hero.  If you raise £100 or more, then you will become one of the Foundation’s growing number of True Blue Heroes.  This involves being invited to a special reception at Ibrox and being presented with an exclusive medal by a first team player.

Exclusive Charity Night with Derek Johnstone, Mark Hateley and Archie Knox!

TICKETS: 

https://ticket.global-events.org/e/2469/armychallengeqa

Derek Johnstone, Mark Hateley and Archie Knox are all set to line up for an exclusive informal Q & A evening at Ibrox on Thursday 11 April to support Connal and help raise funds for the Foundation’s Armed Forces Fund.

The intimate evening event will be hosted by broadcaster Tom Miller and guests will have the opportunity to meet Derek, Mark and Archie and put their own questions to the trio on the night.

The event will take place in the relaxed surroundings of the Thornton Suite within Ibrox Stadium and there will also be a raffle and auction with some great Rangers prizes on offer, including a number of player worn poppy shirts.

We are also privileged to have former Royal Marine Adam Edwards from The Coming Home Centre in Govan, who will give a very personal and powerful perspective about his experiences serving as a Royal Marine and about the fantastic work of The Coming Home Centre, one of the causes set to benefit from Connal’s fundraising challenge. 

Tickets are just £25 and include a pie and a complimentary glass of wine or pint of beer on arrival and access to a cash bar in the Members Club.

Promoting Better Mental Health

For Connal, an equal, if not more difficult part of this challenge is working hard to stay motivated and use all the miles of training and fresh air to help him stay positive mentally.  Connal has previously shared the challenges he has faced over the years with his own mental health and by talking openly about previous episodes of depression, he hopes that this challenge will help further highlight the importance of understanding and supporting each other as well as celebrating exercise and fresh air as a way of boosting positive mental health.

He commented: “This cause is a very important one for me and I am proud of the growing number of ways in which the Foundation and the Club make a positive difference for the Armed Forces Family, not only via our Armed Forces Fund, but also through our annual Armed Forces Day event, observance of Remembrance, Glasgow Veteran’s United programme with Glasgow’s Helping Heroes and advocacy for the MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme. I’m delighted that the Royal Regiment of Scotland is backing this special charity challenge – they certainly have big foot steps to follow after the tremendous efforts of the Royal Navy for my previous challenge!”

“My training is already well underway with two personal training sessions each week with Army PT LCpl David Millar and a long series of training walks about to start.  It would be great to have company on these walks, especially if they help give people a fresh air boost and sense of wellbeing.”

“Mental health is not always easy to talk about, and I’m no different.  It is something which I am trying to talk more honestly about, without guilt or embarrassment.  Lots of people are affected by this, and at the same time, everyone’s experience is different.  For me, recognising the signs of depression, being able to be open about how I am feeling and using physical exercise as a way to recover my inner glow is all really important.”

“54 miles inside 20 hours is going to stretch me to my limits (again!) I think.  To get it done in this time will mean I need to be even faster than the Great Glen Way Challenge in 2017.  I love a good challenge though, and am sure that the Army guys will keep me “focused!”

Captain Craig added:

“Mental Health can affect anyone and everyone.  Unlike a physical injury it can go unnoticed and without the correct help it can isolate individuals making them more vulnerable.  Hopefully we can help raise the awareness of mental health and encourage those suffering that there is no need to suffer alone”.

 

Tags: Armed Forces / Fundraising / armed forces fund