Dursley rugby players complete fundraiser for club-mate

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Dursley Rugby Club walk Cotswold WayImage source, Josh Bailey
Image caption,
The group donned their 'budgie smugglers' for the walk, as they had done when scaling Snowdon

A group of rugby players has completed the 102 mile (164km) Cotswold Way as part of their fundraising in memory of a popular club figure.

They finished the route from Chipping Campden to Bath in 43 hours - five hours ahead of their target.

They walked the route in skimpy "budgie smuggler" swimwear as they did when they climbed Snowdon in August.

Dursley Rugby club has raised £5,500 for the British Heart Foundation since Ross Reeves, 60, died in April.

Image source, Dursley Rugby Club
Image caption,
Mr Reeves' death in April from a heart attack, came as a huge shock to the club

Mr Reeves was captain of the club's third team and coach of its Colts side.

The club set out an a year of fundraising following the "larger than life" club stalwart's death, with the Cotswold Way proving the toughest challenge yet.

"Snowdon was so much easier. I never want to do it again," said first-team player Josh Bailey.

"We did a couple of practice walks of 37 miles and that was hard enough, so we did think, 'what have we let ourselves in for'."

Image source, Josh Bailey
Image caption,
The challenge began at 05:00 BST on 29 August in Chipping Campden and ended in Bath 43 hours later

Of the seven who started, three completed the entire route, which ended at Bath Abbey on 30 August.

"Some of the lads dropped-in to do part of the course as we went along to give us a boost," added Mr Bailey.

"The support team we had from Frocester Fayre, a local farm shop, supplied all the food we needed and two of them took part as well."

Mr Reeves had been involved with Dursley Rugby Club for many years, and was originally from Montreal.

The next fundraising challenge will see players covering the distance from Dursley to the Canadian city.

"A group of us will be running, swimming, rowing and walking, but this time it will be spread out and done in gyms and swimming pools - so we've had more volunteers for that," said Mr Bailey.

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