From SAS Who Dares Wins to running the MdS: Wayne Bridge signs for Walking With The Wounded
Ex England, Chelsea and Man City footballer is joining our Marathon des Sables team for 2020
Ex England international footballer Wayne Bridge is joining Walking With The Wounded's team to run the 'hardest footrace on earth', the Marathon des Sables, to raise money for the charity in its 10th anniversary year, 2020.
Wayne is currently starring in a celebrity version of Channel 4's SAS: Who Dares Wins for Stand Up To Cancer and his experiences on the show have increased his respect for, and desire to support, those who have served in the military. He's made it into the final episode of the show (on Sunday 5 May) alongside Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton, Ex England Rugby player Ben Foden, Hollywood actor Jeremy Irvine, TV presenters AJ Odudu and Jeff Brazier, Made in Chelsea's Sam Thompson and England Women's Rugby player Heather Fisher, under the direction of Ant Middleton and his team of ex Special Forces operators.
The MdS is an iconic 156-mile race across the Sahara desert in temperatures that can hit 50 degrees celsius. Wayne and the WWTW team will run 6 marathons in 6 days including an infamous 'double day' - with the daily objective of staying ahead of the camel which follows the runners each day, and keeping out of the medical tent. The team includes WWTW CEO and co-founder Ed Parker who served in the Royal Green Jackets, ex Royal Marine Ben Williams who put the England football team through the Royal Marine assault course ahead of the 2018 World Cup and Sarah Langholz, an Operating Dept Practitioner for 306 Hospital Support Regiment among other ex military and business leaders wanting to give back to our wounded.
Walking With The Wounded has a rich history of taking part in the event - with Welsh Guards Captain Tom Evans becoming the highest ever British finisher in 2017, taking an extraordinary third place, and ex RAF Sgt Duncan Slater becoming the first double-leg amputee to finish the event in the same year.
Wayne said: "I am really proud to be taking up one of the hardest challenges in the world in aid of an amazing charity - Walking With The Wounded. I have had the privilege of spending time with so many incredible men and women serving our country and am always in awe of their dedication and what they give to Queen and country. Please give generously to this amazing organisation and I promise to take my body to some dark places in the Sahara! Thank you so much."
Andy Sloan, event lead for Walking With The Wounded, said: "A significant proportion of the men and women we support joined the military straight from school and struggle to adjust to civvy street when they leave - so there are many synergies with professional athletes who understand the mental challenges of 'retirement'. We're excited to have Wayne on board as part of the team and helping to raise the profile of the challenges veterans face and what we do to help them overcome these."
Meet our MDS team for 2020 (and find out how you can join them)
The 2020 team is aiming to raise £250,000 to support WWTW's programmes for ex servicemen and women who are struggling with mental health issues, who are socially isolated or caught in police custody and get them back into independence, employment and able to support themselves and their families.
Subscribe to WWTW's newsletter via our homepage to keep updated on events to meet Wayne and the MDS team in the countdown to April 2020.
Every £675 raised can support a veteran, or a family member, through WWTW's mental health programme - receiving 1-2-1 private health care within an average of four days from consent.