Community Hero: Rikki Turner

Posted: Thursday 30th July 2020 - 8:00 AM

Former Army veteran Rikki was laid off from work at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak but responded in brilliant fashion by setting up a Facebook group called “Daily Fitness Challenge” to encourage members to undertake different physical activities, often ones dedicated to frontline workers battling through the coronavirus pandemic.

Rikki has also undertaken various fundraising adventures in recent months, including a Three Peaks Challenge and running 75 miles in full military kit over VE Weekend, and thanks to his incredible efforts Rikki has raised well over £5,000 for local families who have lost income or loved ones through COVID-19.

He told, “Basically, I got laid off from my job due to COVID and quite a few of my mates were the same. Initially I just set up some daily challenges for my mates to take part it but as it got bigger and bigger, the audience grew and I realised there was the opportunity to do more

“There’s now 1,000 people in the group wishing each other well and supporting their efforts.

“I’ve always had an interest in fitness and I went into the Paras after school. That’s one of the most physically demanding tests in the Army to get in and I was athlete-fit at the time. It was my job to stay fit for the 10 years I served in the Paras and I learned a lot about how to keep fit, doing a lot of circuit training and various drills.

“I’m now back at work and doing all of this fitness stuff for six nights a week. I’ve set up boot camps for women – some of them are in their 10th week now. They’ve lost loads of weight so I must be doing something right and I put some of the things I learned in the army in there for them, like fake casualty drills and that sort of thing.

“Having that support has really helped me too, people have been telling me how much the group and the challenges have benefited their mental and physical health, I’ve done everything I set out to do and more.”

As our latest Community Hero, Rikki has been rewarded with hospitality to a future Castleford Tigers match at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle, a personal video message from a Castleford player and a signed Tigers shirt, all courtesy of club partners Hannafin Contractors.

But despite his recognition from the Tigers and local media, Rikki has now turned his attention to his next fundraising effort in September when he and his companions will tackle a 56-mile walk through the night from Catterick to Castleford to raise funds for local man Paul McNamara who was injured in a recent accident that has left him with life-changing injuries.

Rikki added: “There’s for of us taking on the challenge on the 12th September. We’ll be carrying 35lbs of kit, which is something I’ve not done in a long while, but I’m looking forward to it. My brother is a Brigadier Sergeant Major up at Catterick so we’re setting off from his house and walking to Castleford.

“We’re aiming to do it in 12 hours and all the money will go to Greg, except for 20% which we’re holding back to use to help local people struggling for money due to COVID to get some shopping and things like that.”

To support Rikki’s latest fundraising challenge, click here


Share this article: