Butchers smash joint challenge

Staff at a butchers have been getting physical with a 20,000 sit-up challenge to raise much-needed funds for the Midlands Air Ambulance.

Top team – Neil Pugh, Steven Mitchell from Midland Air Ambulance, Kate Bromley, Gary Thomason and front, Scott Murcott
Top team – Neil Pugh, Steven Mitchell from Midland Air Ambulance, Kate Bromley, Gary Thomason and front, Scott Murcott

The seven-strong team at Blackwood Butchers on Blackwood Road in Streetly each took part in the gruelling test crunching their stomachs throughout the whole of March.

Scott Murcott, 38, suggested the challenge after noticing collections the shop makes for the charity were reduced due to customers paying for their meat with their cards, instead of cash, as they followed Covid guidance.

He then saw a fundraising challenge on Facebook with participants doing 100 sit-ups a day throughout March.

“My boss, Neil Pugh and I were on a bit of a health kick and thought we could do that,” said Scott.

“That would amount to 6,200 sit-ups and we thought that if we got everyone in the shop involved we could do 10,000.”

Scott and Neil, 49 and the other team members – Gary Thomason, 65, Alfie Hands, 17, Niall West, 14, Kate Bromley, 39, and Ian Mason, 54, a volunteer driver who works for West Midlands Police – “went for it” and through their efforts completed 20,000 sit-ups raising £2,500, much of it through a JustGiving page.

“It was tough but we really enjoyed it,” said Scott who wished to thank everyone who backed them with a donation.

“It created great camaraderie between us which has continued.”

The team did the exercises whenever they could. Scott did some backed by The Village People’s song “YMCA” while son Blake, 8, changed hats on his dad’s head with every sit-up.

The eldest team member Gary unfortunately suffered a heart attack – unrelated to the sit-up challenge – and insisted on doing the 20,000th sit-up after having life-saving surgery.

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