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Army v Navy Women’s Burpee Challenge for NHS Charities

On the 2nd May 2020, the Army and Royal Navy Women’s Rugby Teams were due to make history by playing their Army v Navy Inter Services fixture at Twickenham Stadium for the first time.

Due to the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent impact on sports fixtures, sadly but understandably the match did not take place.

Instead, to mark the occasion and still come together from lockdown at their homes all over the world whilst raising money for the NHS Charities Together (registered charity no. 1186569) players and management past and present from the Army and Royal Navy Women’s squads set themselves the challenge of completing 82,000 burpees – the equivalent of the seating capacity at Twickenham Stadium.

Captain Erica Mills, Royal Artillery, launched the initiative of the challenge and along with members of the Army Women’s Senior leadership group set out to make it a success.  The response was phenomenal, between both squads over 150,000 burpees were pledged and completed by 1630hrs on the day, the time that the women’s match would have kicked off.

Erica Mills and Beth Dainton on completion of their 2000 burpee pledges

Everyone taking part on the day completed their pledges at home all over the UK and as far as Dubai, sharing their progress via social media.  The effort of all involved was inspiring and truly captured the spirit of the game we all love and currently miss.  Most would agree burpees are the exercise everyone loves to hate but the imagination and innovation that went into whatever it took to complete pledges kept everyone smiling throughout the day – burpees in Morris Dancing clogs, burpees dressed as a Beefeater, burpees to the National Anthem!

Burpees took place all over the UK and as far as Dubai where Ex-Army Skipper Jane Leonard completed 4000 in 35 degree heat!

The aim was to raise £10,000 for NHS Charities Together, thanks to the overwhelming support for the event this target was reached on the day of the challenge  and currently stands at over £17,000.

If you would like to support the cause you can still donate, please visit:

Many congratulations to everyone that took part, we are so proud of you and what you have achieved.  You took what was a huge disappointment and focused your efforts into achieving something together for the good of others, you embody the values of the British Army and Royal Navy.