Chichester rugby players raise £4k for Hounds for Heroes with marathon rows

A group of Chichester rugby players have raised over £4,000 for an assistance dog charity by rowing seven marathons in seven days.

Friends and long-term Chichester Rugby Club players Ben Polhill, Tommy Polhill Aaron Davies and Nick Blout decided to take on the challenge after hearing how the specially trained assistance dogs at Hounds for Heroes are enhancing the lives of so many ex-military and emergency service personnel all over the UK.

Tommy said: “The club has so many connections to the armed forces and emergency services, so I really wanted to give something back, and what better way than to take on a challenge like this – and push us to our limits.”

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After much blood, sweat and tears, thousands of pounds of weights lifted and miles rowed during their 12 weeks of training, the team completed their seven-day challenge with an emotional finale at Chichester Rugby Club Minis and Juniors training day.

Nick Blout, Tommy Polhill, Chichester Rugby Club 1st XV manager Alan Chambers, Ben Polhill and Aaron Davies with the Hounds for Heroes mascot

More than 150 people went along to support the team in its final few hours of pain.

The foursome has raised over £4,000 for the charity, and far exceeded their fundraising target of £3,000 – the cost of recruiting and training a new puppy.

The extra money will pay for caring for the puppy during its first year of training.

All four players plan to continue fundraising for Hounds for Heroes and are already working on their next challenge.

They hope to raise more money so they can adopt the puppy and help put it through its advance training.

Hounds for Heroes is a Petersfield based charity who provides specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of the UK Armed Forces and the emergency services.

The charity aims to provide help and practical support leading to an enhanced quality of life.

The dogs are carefully selected for all the qualities needed to produce excellent assistance dogs.

To donate to the fundraiser visit


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