Former Wakefield Wildcat Jimmy Gittins takes on inspirational challenge en route to Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford

Jimmy Gittins preparing for his Grand Final challenge
Jimmy Gittins preparing for his Grand Final challenge

AN INSPIRATIONAL charity fundraiser is taking the long route to the Super League Grand Final.

Jimmy Gittins, of Sandal, has a 48-hour challenge via land and water to reach Rugby League’s showcase event at Old Trafford on October 6.

Mr Gittins, 38, who defied doctors to walk again after breaking his neck in two places in a rugby accident in 2002, will be part of a team of ex-players aiming to raise £30,000 for the foundation of former Wakefield Wildcats Star, Steve Prescott.

The two-day gruelling Engage Mutual challenge involves swimming the Humber and cycling from Hull to Liverpool, with a stop off in 
Wakefield.

The team, which will include former St Helen’s star Paul Sculthorpe, will drop in at the Rapid Solutions Stadium in Belle Vue at 8.30pm on Thursday, October 4. They will be welcomed by the Wildcat Dolls and fans are invited to come and cheer them on.

After reaching Liverpool they will then swim the Mersey, and then run between Liverpool and Runcorn.

The final leg of the challenge will see Mr Gittins canoe up the Bridgewater Canal to Old Trafford in time for the kick off.

The dad-of-two from Barnsley Road said: “There is no doubt that this will be one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced yet, but I can’t wait to give it a go and raise money for some fantastic causes.”

Former Sharlston Rovers player Mr Gittins has undertaken various challenges including a mammoth Tour de France, a sky-dive and this month’s Great North Run using a hand-powered cycle.

He has helped Mr Prescott, who was diagnosed with a rare-form of stomach cancer in 2006, raise thousands for his chosen charities: The Christie cancer hospital in Manchester and Try Assist, formerly known as the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.

Mr Gittins added: “The RL Benevolent Fund has been brilliant in helping with my recovery, without them I may not even be able to walk let alone take part in this challenge so I owe them a huge amount. I hope the money raised will go towards helping others in a similar position to me.”

For more information about the challenge please log onto http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWmESJk_OQo