STUDENTS preparing to join the military are to take on a tree-mendous challenge to raise funds for charity.

Teams from the North East’s four Military Preparation Colleges will compete in a log marathon at Gateshead International Stadium on Thursday 10 October.

The Colleges at Newcastle, South Shields, Bishop Auckland and Stockton, provide free courses to equip 16 to 19-year-olds with the academic skills and physical fitness levels they need to embark on a career in the Armed Forces.

And each college will field six teams of four learners who will carry the 70kg log in relay with the winning team being the one which completes the 26.2m distance in the fastest time.

They are also hoping the public will sponsor them on their test of endurance to raise funds for the Motivation and Learning Trust, which helps fund educational opportunities for young people.

Courses at the colleges are all led by ex-British Armed Forces personnel, who use their military backgrounds to help learners set and reach the targets that will progress them to their chosen careers.

And MPC Regional Operations Manager – and former Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Instructor – Laurence Corbett, said the teams have been training hard for the event.

“The marathon coincides with World Mental Health Day 2019 and we hope that, as well as showcasing how incredibly fit and disciplined our learners are, it will raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing,” he said.

“Our learners aren’t privileged or entitled, they are hard working young people who want to carve out a career for themselves in the British armed forces and we should all be very proud of them.

“So, I hope as many people as possible will support them through sponsorship or by coming along on the day and cheering them on.”

The log marathon will begin at 10.30am and finish at 4pm and a Just Giving page has been set up for those wishing to sponsor a team at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MPCTNELOGRACE.

To find out more about the Military Preparation Colleges, prospective learners and parents and guardians can visit www.mpct.co.uk or call 0330 111 3939.