BRAZILIAN jiu-jitsu (BJJ) practioners training at one of Newton Abbot’s leading gyms have raised more than £2,000 for a charity supporting veterans after completing a 24-hour challenge.

The great and the good from the town’s branch of Premier Kickboxing & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu held a 24-hour ‘Rollathon’ on June 24, in aid of REORG, a charity supporting veterans, military personnel and emergency service workers through functional fitness, primarily BJJ.

In BJJ terms, ‘rolling’ refers to a form of practice where practioners perform live techniques with a training partner, and it is quite literal, for BJJ focuses on grappling, ground fighting, and submission holds.

As many as 20 BJJ practinoers ‘rolled’ for the entire 24 hours, with half a dozen or so dropping in periodically; their collective efforts saw £2,250 raised for REORG.

REORG founder, Sam Sheriff MBE, said: ‘One of the great things about our charity is we have people from the community all doing amazing things to raise funds for what we do because they believe in it.

‘Our fitness director, for example, recently did an ultra-marathon across Tanzaia, we have had people doing rollathons, Mark Ormrod MBE, who is one of our trustees, has done all sorts of challenges, and so what the guys and girls did here is continue that awesome wave of support, because ultimately we can’t do what we do without the support of people doing things like this.’

The 24-hour Rollathon began at 10am sharp on Saturday, June 24, which was Armed Forces Day.

Organiser Chris Bunday, who is himself a veteran and was helped by REORG, described the all day challenge as ‘brutal’.

‘It was hard on the body, that’s for sure’ Chris said.

‘We started with a minimum of two people on the mat, as we still had kids’ classes going on, but once these classes thinned out, we began to fill the mat up doing five-minute rounds, and then from around 10pm we did 10-minute rounds,’ Chris added.

17 local businesses supported the Rollathon.

The 17 include: Maven, SV Carpentry, CJB Cleaning Solutions, Premier Kickboxing and Jiu-Jitsu, Sakura Martial arts, TenTen storage, Fox Scaffolding, SJ Roofing, Les Joint Building Contractors, Crown Surveyors, Bayside Signs and Display, All Paws On Deck, The Filling Station, Darren Nethercott painting and decorating, the Passage House Inn, Erase that Ink and last, but by no means least, Remax Estate Agents.