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World rugby record kicked into touch by Caithness players


By Gordon Calder


Caithness players celebrating their successful assault on the Guinness World Record for touch rugby, with the clock showing the new best time. Picture: James Gunn
Caithness players celebrating their successful assault on the Guinness World Record for touch rugby, with the clock showing the new best time. Picture: James Gunn

A WORLD record was kicked into touch by a dedicated group of Caithness rugby players at the weekend.

They beat the Guinness World Record for touch rugby by 33 minutes and 34 seconds by playing for 30 hours, 36 minutes and 45 seconds. The previous record was 30 hours, three minutes and 11 seconds.

The players' efforts not only resulted in a new world record but raised over £7750 for the club and will give a boost to the Doddie Weir foundation, which will receive a donation. The former Scotland international was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2017 and set up the charity to raise funds to research causes of the disease and investigate potential cures.

There were a lot of sore bodies out there but we are just delighted we have done it.

Caithness rugby player Hamish Coghill came up with the idea and is delighted the record was broken, although it still has to be officially confirmed.

"It was one of the toughest things I have done in a while," he said. "There were a lot of sore bodies out there but we are just delighted we have done it.

"It was pretty emotional at the end but it is a great achievement. It was great to see the community come together and people turn out to help and support us."

The squad of players line up alongside the electronic clock just before the start of the bid to set a Guinness World Record for touch rugby. Picture: James Gunn
The squad of players line up alongside the electronic clock just before the start of the bid to set a Guinness World Record for touch rugby. Picture: James Gunn

Hamish, a hooker for the club for over 13 years, said that on average the players covered at least 40 miles during the world record attempt, with some clocking up over 60 miles.

Tanya McGovern, one of the organisers and the club's fundraising chairperson, was also very happy with the outcome.

"They beat the record by a good half an hour, although to get it verified we need to submit video footage of the whole event plus signed witness sheets," she said.

"So far, we have raised £7750 but there is still money to come in so that figure will go up. We never expected to raise that amount. We are delighted with the response and can't thank the community enough for their support."

The attempt got under way at Millbank on Friday at 6pm and finished at just after 12.30am on Sunday.

Touch rugby action during the record-breaking effort. Picture: James Gunn
Touch rugby action during the record-breaking effort. Picture: James Gunn

Under the rules, 28 players in two teams of 14 were involved. Six were on the pitch at any one time, with a total of eight substitutes allowed.

Players were entitled to rest periods and meal breaks during the attempt.

On Saturday, other players from the club were involved in a 12-hour touch rugby fundraiser from noon. There was also a barbecue, baking stall, bottle stall and bouncy castle.

A number of prizes were on offer, including a Scotland rugby top, signed by the World Cup squad. It was donated by the Scottish Rugby Union and won by Norelle Calder.

A good crowd enjoying some of the early exchanges at Millbank. Picture: James Gunn
A good crowd enjoying some of the early exchanges at Millbank. Picture: James Gunn
It may be around midnight by now, but there is still a large number of spectators supporting the record attempt as Kris Hamilton prepares to throw the ball out wide. Picture: James Gunn
It may be around midnight by now, but there is still a large number of spectators supporting the record attempt as Kris Hamilton prepares to throw the ball out wide. Picture: James Gunn


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