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GB coaches dribble hockey balls up Three Peaks

Starting tomorrow, Andy Halliday and Jon Bleby, Team Manager and Assistant Coach of the GB Men’s Hockey Team, will face one of their toughest challenges yet, the NOW: Pensions Mountain Dribble.

The two members of the GB Men’s coaching team will not only be taking on the infamous Three Peaks Challenge, but they plan to dribble a hockey ball up and down the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales; something no one has ever attempted before. To add to the challenge they have given themselves only three days to take on this monumental task!

Andy, having already successfully dribbled the entire London Marathon in 2012, will now attempt to conquer twenty six miles, eleven thousand feet of ascent and descent, and twenty four hours of dribbling over sixty hours, without picking up the ball once! This challenge is physically and mentally straining, and will put the pair to the test.  On average Andy and Jon will touch each ball fifty times a minute. This equates to approximately 72,000 touches of the ball for each dribbler.

Andy and Jon will be tackling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and finally Snowdon. Supported by colleagues and friends the pair will tackle the individual micro-climates of each mountain with hits, flicks and bounces.

Andy said:

“Since I dribbled the London Marathon in 2012, I have been searching for another extreme hockey dribbling challenge that will push us to the very edge of our limits. The Three Peaks Challenge is a gruelling experience for a fit walker when the weather is fine, adding the task of dribbling hockey balls in such a hostile environment will stretch us mentally, technically and physically. This is an immense challenge for both of us.”

Such an epic expedition would not come without meaning. Andy and Jon with the support of NOW: Pensions, the proud sponsor of the GB Men’s Hockey Team and the Men’s Hockey League, are raising money for WellChild and Access Sport, two child-focussed charities with very important goals.

WellChild, the Official Charity Partner of England Hockey, is a national charity working to ensure the best possible care for the thousands of young people living in the UK with a long-term or complex health conditions.

Access Sport supports community sports clubs, and as part of their disability work helps mainstream hockey clubs to become more inclusive. The charity has helped set up youth schemes such as ‘Forest Flyerz’, a grassroots initiative providing the opportunity for disadvantaged and disabled youths to access sport.

Andy said:

“I have seen first-hand the fantastic work of both of the charities. WellChild provides essential nursing support for seriously ill children and their families. It really makes a difference to so many lives. Access Sport opens up opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled young people. I have been lucky enough to be a part of a growing hockey legacy project for young people in Newham. The difference it has made to so many has been staggering.”

Barry Middleton, Captain of the GB Men’s Hockey team said:

“I think they are mad! This is an extreme challenge, one not for the faint-hearted. However, they are doing it for two very worthy causes, and I know myself and all of the GB team will be thinking of them and supporting them throughout”.

For more information on the NOW: Pensions Mountain Dribble follow @NOWhockey, @andyhalliday3 and @JonBleby. Show your support for the guys using #NOWdribble.

To sponsor Andy and Jon please visit their Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/NOWPensionsMountainDribble

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