Hockey for Heroes is set to undertake another epic summer of endurance and fundraising after revealing its upcoming tour. Operation Last Post will see sportsmen and women playing 54 games of hockey and undergoing 457kms of challenges in nine days in June.
The nine-day tour will see Hockey for Heroes squads compete against hockey clubs in eight locations, starting in Ben Rhydding, Yorkshire and finishing in Portsmouth, Hampshire between May 26 and June 3, 2023.
They aim to raise £100,000 for Help for Heroes, the charity that supports British military personnel and their families to live well after service.
The squads will also take on various endurance and military challenges over 457 kilometres, which will include rowing, swimming, running a half marathon, a weighted speed march and a stretcher-carry march.
The kms figure has been chosen to recognise the 457 British service personnel killed during the war in Afghanistan, in acknowledgement of their ultimate sacrifice. The objective is to allocate each kilometre to every individual fallen hero from this conflict in remembrance.
Joel Forrester, Head of Hockey for Heroes, said: “We are excited to embark on our next challenge, which is set to be bigger and bolder than ever before. This is the first time in our history that our two squads will combine for a tour, and it will be a special moment to see the whole organisation involved in such an occasion.
“The physical aspect of this event will test our squads to capacity, and the meaning of this tour is of even greater importance. Each day we will make a roll call of those we are remembering throughout that day, and this will be a truly humbling experience for many of our members and I am sure they can draw on this emotion and enable it to fuel them to success.
“We hope the hockey and wider community will support this event and help us to shed light on the true and rarely spoken of sacrifice made by many to ensure our freedom today.”
Help for Heroes’ Area Fundraising Manager, John Carpenter, added: “The support and fundraising that Hockey for Heroes has done since 2011 has been truly inspirational, and we are immensely grateful for their efforts.
“Hockey for Heroes has raised more than £120,000 between 2017-2019 in three events through a range of exceptional endurance challenges, combined with endless hockey matches and inspiring fundraising activities at clubs around the country. This is an amazing achievement and demonstrates the sheer dedication of everyone in the team.”
Founded in 2011, Hockey for Heroes combines physical endurance exertion with field hockey, creating a community that cares and gives back to an important charity in the UK while playing sport. Since its founding year, Hockey for Heroes has raised a total of more than £350,000.
Together with Lincoln Minster School, Hockey for Heroes gained a Guinness World Record in 2019 for playing the highest game of field hockey at 5,019 meters above sea level in Nepal.
A previous tour has seen the Hockey for Heroes team come together for 10 days to play 30 games of hockey and carry an injured marine on a stretcher for 200 miles.
Help for Heroes champions the Armed Forces community and helps them, and their families, live well after service. It has already supported more than 27,000 people and will continue to ensure every veteran receives the support they deserve.