This weekend two Surrey netball teams set a new world record for the longest ever netball match. The Claygate and New Malden Netball Clubs played for 60 hours and scored nearly 5,000 goals between them, with team purple overcoming the blues by 2,440 to 2,381.
The 24 tired but exhilarated girls finished playing at 7pm on Sunday evening, having started at 7am the Friday before. Equivalent to completing six marathons back to back, this was an incredible endurance test for each player both physically and mentally. With only 14 on court at any one time, the girls could rotate on and off at set intervals but no one could leave the courtside for more than five minutes at any point during the attempt.
The reason for taking on the world record was to celebrate the return to court of one of their players, Debbie Middleton, after her recovery from cancer last year.
“On 15th August 2008, at the age of 32, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma which having previously been a fit and healthy person was a bit of a shock. However, I was lucky enough to be treated at the amazing hospital that is The Royal Marsden.
In April 2009, I was given the all clear and decided I wanted to give something back to the place where I had received such excellent care. Netball has always been an important part of my life, even whilst I was ill. In fact it kept me going sometimes. I still went down to support my team, Claygate, even playing a little bit when I was feeling strong enough.
When I suggested breaking the world record for the longest netball match to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign the girls were right behind me – although some might be a little less enthusiastic now!”
Not only did the girls finish on a high and break a world record, they’ve also raised over £51,000 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign.
You can still make a donation to their Virgin Money Giving page and there are more pictures on their facebook page. The girls also take their rightful place on the Virgin Money Giving Guinness World Records wall of fame.
If you’re attempting a World Record and fundraising with Virgin Money Giving we’d love to hear from you, email email@example.com