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Members of Valhalla Strength and Fitness Gym, Ashton-in-Makerfield, are preparing to take part in the deadlift challenge, raising funds for the Army Benevolent Fund
Members of Valhalla Strength and Fitness Gym, Ashton-in-Makerfield, are preparing to take part in the deadlift challenge, raising funds for the Army Benevolent Fund

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Ex-servicemen in Wigan are using their brawn as a path to fund-raising glory – by deadlifting a literally staggering one million kilograms!

Members of Valhalla Strength and Fitness Gym, Ashton, are set to attempt the mammoth challenge on July 22 from 7am to 7pm, as part of a money-spinning event for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the national charity of the British Army.

Carl Smith is a member at Valhalla and an ex-serviceman, having served in the Royal Corps of Signals for 14 years.

Carl said: “We have wanted to do something for quite a while with there being a few ex-servicemen in the gym.

“There will be a maximum of 18 of us lifting one million kilograms within the 12 hours. That’s 60,000 kilograms each!”

The JustGiving page set up to raise money for The Soldiers’ Charity has already brought in £310 with more than two months left before the event takes place.

Carl said: “I’d like to raise a minimum of £500 but more of course would be great.

“These are early stages yet but we also want to put on a raffle and a bouncy castle to help the cause.”

Carl added: “I’ve been at every gym around the place, but Valhalla is the longest I’ve been at any one. The encouragement from those around me is great; it is without doubt the best I’ve been at.”

The gym was recently visited by former NRL and Super League star, and current assistant coach at Catalans Dragons, Michael Monaghan, for a training session.

The Soldiers’ Charity makes grants to individuals through their Regiments and Corps and support a wide range of specialist charities that sustain the British Army “family”, both at home and around the world.