Worldwide 24-hour martial arts challenge to raise money for military, veterans and emergency first responders
Thousands of people around the world have taken part in the largest-ever charity “rollathon”. From 8am on Thursday to 8am on Friday last week more than 60 martial arts gyms linked up via Zoom and Instagram in the largest event of its kind ever held.
The event was to raise money that will go to help serving military, veterans and emergency service personnel with physical and mental health problems. For 24 hours there was non-stop grappling in the gyms dotted across Britain and as far away as Australia and the US.
Invictus Games-winner Mark Ormrod regularly trains in jiu-jitsu and says Reorg is making a massive difference in the lives of the people who get a new sense of purpose when they are introduced to martial arts.
“It may sound extreme, but it’s absolutely true that it’s not just changing people’s lives – I know several people whose lives it has saved,” Mark said. “People that thought they had no way out, that there was nothing left for them, they felt worthless and they found a purpose again and a mission, something that gives them hope.”
Through a series of challenges Mark has raised over half a million pounds for the charity. With the all-night wrestle-fest Mark is hoping to push the total past £600,000. The money goes into funding training costs and equipment for those who might not be able to afford it and need help before they get their life back together.
“We are still totting up the numbers but a conservative estimate puts it at well over three thousand,” said Reorg founder Sam Sheriff. “Of those thousands of people, a lot are military, veterans or first responders, but many are just here to support the cause.”
He added: “The more money we get the more people we can help get through difficult times. The atmosphere was amazing. Seeing all the clubs taking part there was such a nice buzz. After the year we’ve had it was so nice to see the community come together like this.”