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Special Forces Challenge to help disadvantaged kids

It's the challenge being called "Hell Weekend" - the brainchild of Queanbeyan Blues legend Terry Campese and run by ex-military personnel. 

The last weekend of February will see 26 local recruits take part in a grueling 30 hour challenge inspired by the SAS Australia TV show. 

The recruits range from former professional athletes, business professionals, journalists and many more.

One of the recruits is Brent Ford, who works as a journalist on 2CC and 2CA, is part of the Raiders Call Team and is involved with CRRL. 

Campese asked Ford to be part of the unique opportunity, and Ford jumped at the chance. 

"This is completely new for me, I’ve recently taken up running during the lockdowns and have done a couple of marathons," Ford said.

"But where a marathon lasts for seven hours or so, this is over 30 hours so it's much more intense. We need to prepare physically but also lots of mental training. It's cautious but exciting.”

Details of the challenge are sketchy, with the activities being kept under wraps from the recruits. 

"We've been training with part of the team at CrossFit, who have been really helping us get ready and getting the miles in the legs. We know there is going to be some hiking, so doing lots of running and preparation for that too," Ford said.

“We don’t know much about what is happening. The scariest part is Campo’s evil laugh. When we ask ‘Can we get hurt?” he says “Yes” and then laughs so that is a bit disconcerting."

Ford will be proudly wearing the CRRL logo on the back of his shirt throughout the challenge. 

"Thanks to Mark [Vergano] for letting me do this and to my mum [Deb Ford, CRRL junior competition administrator] who is my biggest support.," Ford said. 

"CRRL have done so much in bringing rugby league to the region and I’m really proud to have the logo on my back representing all the hard work that’s been done.”

The challenge is raising money for the Terry Campese Foundation, which helps provide greater opportunities for disadvantaged kids in regional areas such as Queanbeyan, Braidwood, Bungendore etc. 

The recruits are looking to raise $120,000 for the Terry Campese Foundation Mentoring Program. Last year the Foundation took a group of kids to hike the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory. 

Ford says that helping the Foundation is why the recruits will be pushing their bodies and minds to the limit.

"The Foundation is growing and it has a big effect on these kids. One of the big things the Foundation did was take a group of these kids on the Larapinta Trail, which was life-changing for them," Ford said.

"They wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to do something like that, so to raise money for things like that is really important."

The Special Forces Challenge will take place on the 26th and 27th February. 

To donate to Brent, click this link

For more information and a list of the recruits, visit the website here.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.