Doncaster Rovers will send out a team of nine intrepid adventurers, which includes four first team players, to scale the Andes and journey along the Inca trail in June 2011 in a bid to raise funds for the new NSPCC Childline.
Whilst most players look to take holidays in the sun, this band of explorers will be scaling the Inca Trail at altitudes of over 12,000ft, as they walk 62 miles of rugged terrain on the roof of South America. With the threat of altitude sickness ever present at heights of 15,000ft, walking the 62 miles in six days will present a significant challenge.
The expedition is being lead by Rovers midfielder Mark Wilson and joining him on the challenge are James Coppinger, James O'Connor and new signing Wayne Thomas. Making up the rest of the team are three members of management, one community team member and a member of the club's media team.
Wilson said: "I have wanted to do something like this for a few years, as it's close to my heart, especially with all the high profile child abuse cases that have been in the news. I wanted to do something to help prevent and put a stop to child abuse, so this is where the idea came from.
"This is a project which we hope will capture the attention of our local community, and we would love for every supporter of the club, whether as an individual or as a member of the local business community, to give us their generous support. We will be having special events all through the year, including a special night for the ladies, so watch out on the club's official website, plus a new dedicated website and donations site which we are setting up."
Also taking on the challenge is Rovers media manager Steve Uttley, who added: "For me this is one of the biggest challenges that I have undertaken, but one I could not refuse when asked. I have a year to get myself up to the fitness levels needed, but if what I do saves one child's life it will be worth all the pain and effort put in, not only by me but by the rest of the team.
"I will be the oldest and I will be the one who has the most punishing training regime, but I have already started by walking in the Peak District as I build up."
Gavin Megaw, Director of External Affairs at The Football League said: "Well done to all involved at Doncaster Rovers. This is a great way of generating funds for such an important cause. Everyone at The Football League wishes the players and club staff every best wish as they set out to raise sponsorship ahead of their trek next June."
As part of the fundraising, Mark and the lads will be at a special launch party at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday 24th August, where fans and press can meet the players and have photo opportunities.
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