At a time when the country is coming together like never before, in unprecedented circumstances, Rugby League players, coaches, officials and fans are amongst the thousands who are joining the fight against Covid19. In our new series ‘Front Row Heroes’, we’re on a mission to find out more about and celebrate Rugby League’s real life heroes on the front line of the efforts. In this episode we speak to Great Britain Legend Paul Sculthorpe who is taking on a remarkable challenge to raise money for a charity very close to his heart, as well as volunteering in his local area.
Sculthorpe is no novice when it comes to taking on remarkable challenges for charity. In a partnership that dates back to his friendship with the late, great Steve Prescott, the St Helens and Great Britain legend has spent much of time post retirement, thinking up new ways to raise as much money as possible for the Steve Prescott Foundation, and he certainly wasn’t going to let the Coronavirus pandemic stop him.
That’s why on Saturday, Scully will be in the saddle for a 26 hour Wattbike challenge, the magnitude of which he laughs off with a surprising level of nonchalance;
“It’s certainly going to be testing, but I enjoy stuff like this, it’s certainly different, and in this situation it kills the day off a bit a well”
Sculthorpe is teaming up with good friend and former Super League star Ewan Dowes in what is being called the #TwoPointSixChallenge, a nationwide initiative to help charities who may be suffering from the absence of regular fundraising events during lockdown;
“A lot of the charities have been hit hard with what’s been going and a lot of events being cancelled, a lot of charities make their money out of mass participation events, so everyone’s doing their bit for their local charities.”
A keen cyclist, Paul has plenty of experience sending long hours in the saddle. In 2012, alongside Steve Prescott, they ran the Paris Marathon, and then cycled and kayaked their way back across the English Channel in time for the London Marathon, but even that may not have him prepared for this weekend;
“I’ve not anything above an hour recently, it’s pretty grim as it is, I go for more distance and set times so this is going to be a different way of riding to find a pace we can ride at.”
Since the Prescott’s passing from a rare cancer in 2013, Scully has worked hard to continue his legacy, and champion the work being done by the Foundation;
“The Foundation is going from strength to strength, even after Steve’s passing in 2013. You see the work they’re doing at the moment in St Helens and the surrounding areas, sorting supplies for the vulnerable and NHS and Key workers, it’s a real community spirit and I just want to continue that legacy that Steve built.”
If 26 hours on a bike wasn’t enough, Sculthorpe has been active in his local area in recent weeks, helping to deliver food and essentials to the vulnerable, along side his friend, St Helens fan and Comedian Johnny Vegas;
“I’m just one of the guys, there’s numerous people including ex-players, and the main man of course Johnny Vegas, he seems to have been out every single day, just doing it for the town that he loves.”
To donate to Scully’s Wattbike Challenge in aid of the Steve Prescott Foundation, click here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/scully-wattbike
Front Row Heroes will be back on Monday night, where we hear more about the incredible work of the sport’s charity Rugby League Cares