WEYMOUTH and Portland’s rugby team is running 1,000 miles in March to raise funds for the club and Weldmar Hospice.

In total, 20 of the Seahorses’ squad, of all shapes and sizes, will take to the road with the target of running 50 miles each.

Weymouth and Portland hope to achieve a distance of more than 1,000 miles with other players outside of the 20 pledging their support to the campaign.

The Monmouth Avenue side have poignantly chosen Weldmar Hospice after former captain Julian Quick lost his brave battle against Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, aged just 28 in 2017.

Dorset Echo: Former Weymouth & Portland captain Julian QuickFormer Weymouth & Portland captain Julian Quick

All involved hope to raise at least £1,000 for the good cause, with more than £600 already generated.

Club skipper David Oaksford said: “We want to be doing more within our community.

“The run helps us fulfil that and the charity we’re running for is very close to the rugby club’s heart as our old first-team captain Julian, that was his hospice that he had his final days in.

“It means a lot to get involved and we thought it would be a good way of raising money.

“It’s always good for the lads to get some extra fitness in while they’re doing nothing at home.”

No amateur rugby has been possible since early 2020 due to the pandemic.

Oaksford added: “It’s been incredibly difficult for everyone to motivate themselves due to not having that contact at rugby.

“Usually we’d meet up twice a week for training and a game for Saturday. It’s been over a year now since we’ve done that consistently.

“A lot of the lads have found it hard to get into their fitness and carry it on.

“By doing this, it motivates them to carry on and get out there and commit, because they’re doing it for something other than themselves.

“We’re getting ex-players from around the country wanting to get involved that used to play with Julian and still have big ties with the club.”

Like all community rugby clubs across the country, Weymouth & Portland has been heavily affected by the pandemic and its financial ramifications.

The club relies entirely on its paying members and also the revenue taken in the clubhouse on matchdays, private functions and events held throughout the year, all of which having been suspended.

The funds raised will be used to complete vital maintenance and upkeep of the clubhouse.

Weymouth and Portland has a strong personal link to Weldmar and the charity relies heavily on community support, with only 21 per cent funding provided by the NHS.

*Donations are welcomed using this link.