The Royal Welsh launch a three-year fundraising series of challenges in aid of Blind Veterans UK.
Joined by Welsh Rugby Union Performance Director and former Wales captain Ryan Jones at the Principality Stadium, the fundraisers announced the Captain Stephen Healey Memorial Challenge on Thursday 11th April.
This will be a set of physical and sensory challenges, some undertaken by themselves, and others open to public participation, beginning in September 2019 and ending in September 2021.
Organised by Captain (Retired) Colin Jones MBE, the first event is a two-day relay run from Cardiff to Wrexham in early September. Ryan Jones, the former rugby international, will begin the first leg from Maindy Barracks, with Ieuan, Kristian and Colin then taking on subsequent legs until they all cross the finish line at Hightown Barracks together.
The four Joneses will each complete 33.5 miles, with a combined distance of 134 miles run from south to north Wales.
Other challenges the team will take on during the three years include blindfolded ascents of Pen-Y-Fan and Snowdon and a blindfolded walk from Blind Veterans UK’s Llandudno Centre to Hightown Barracks in Wrexham.
Colin said: “In September 2020 we aim to retrace some of Captain Stephen Healey’s sponsored blindfolded walk from Llandudno to Wrexham. Before being tragically killed in action during an operational tour of Afghanistan in 2012, Stephen was committed to supporting Blind Veterans UK after the charity supported one of his men, Fusilier Shaun Stocker, whose sight was damaged after stepping on an IED in April 2010.”
"The dedication and commitment of the Blind Veterans UK charity is second to none. After a full and colourful military career, I enjoy the opportunity and challenge of being in a position to support this wonderful charity."Captain (Retired) Colin Jones MBE
In 2021, the final year of the campaign, Colin will embark on an international cycling venture with a route that will encompass all the locations he was posted to during his 32 years’ service. Starting in Berlin and onwards through Germany, he will return to the UK visiting Aldershot, Tidworth, and Cardiff before crossing the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland. From there he will cycle back to Wrexham, having visited a total of 15 Barracks.
Members of the fundraising team are:
- Captain (Retired) Colin Jones MBE: Campaign Organiser and Participating Team Member
- WO1(RSM) Steve Davies: Team Manager and Reserve Runner
- Mr Ryan Jones (WRU Performance Director, former captain of the Wales rugby team and the British & Irish Lions): Participating Team Member
- Second Lieutenant Ieuan Jones (Platoon Commander in A Company, 1st Battalion Royal Welsh): Participating Team Member
- Kristian Jones (ex RAF Regiment and the reservist unit of the 3rd Battalion Royal Welsh): Participating Team Member
- Dale Williams (ex 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Fusiliers and The Royal Welsh): Support Team
For updates on their progress, join the Blind Veterans UK Wales Facebook group.
To sponsor the Stephen Healey Memorial Challenge visit: www.justgiving.com/colinjones910