A team of military personnel from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham are in Holland to march 100 miles over four days in the 96th International Four Day Marches in Nijmegen.
The team are raising awareness and money in support of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and especially the Fisher House project. This initiative will provide injured military personnel and their families a ‘home from home’ whilst receiving treatment at the Birmingham based hospital.
The 12-strong team, comprising of military medical and support personnel from the RAF and Army, are the first from the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine to compete in the marches. They have spent the last few months training and competing in various walking and marching events around the UK. This includes the Pathfinder march in Cambridgeshire, an arduous event covering 46 miles in 16 hours over mixed terrain.
The four-day march or “vierdaagse” has taken place at Nijmegen since 1916 and is widely regarded as the world’s largest walking event. In recent years, more than 40,000 people take part from all over the World. The RAF entered the first official British military team in 1950 and military personnel are expected to make up around 8,000 of the total participants. The route around Nijmegen is full of World War II history and the team will cross the famous Nijmegen Bridge and pass a number of war cemeteries.
Flight Lieutenant Nick Butler, RAF Accident and Emergency Nurse andTeam Leader for the RCDM team, said:“A marathon a day for four days, whilst carrying weight, and wearing military attire is certainly a test of mental endurance and stamina.
“We hope to find some nicer weather in Holland than some of the conditions the team has had to endure back in the UK.”
Colonel Kevin Beaton, Commanding Officer of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine said: “I am delighted to support the first team from RCDM in their participation in the Nijmegen Marches. They are marching for a very good cause and will take the best wishes of their military and civilian colleagues and those injured service personnel that we care for here in Birmingham with them.”
The team would appreciate donations via text, or on their Just-Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/rcdmwalk , to recognise their hard work and support the Fisher House project currently underway on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham site.
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