Squash pro takes on endurance charity match

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An Arbroath taxi driver is swapping his steering wheel for a squash racquet in a mammoth challenge.

Mark James (48) is aiming to break the world record for the longest ever non-stop squash game.

Mark, who lives in Montrose, has been limbering up for the challenge with a variety of training methods in preparation for the big event: “For the last year I have trained for this event employing mainly endurance work.

‘‘I started running for one hour at a time with progression up to three hours.

“It is my many years as a physical training instructor in the forces that I have to thank. I was trained and have designed and managed many major endurance training courses which created the passion, motivational skills and drive I need to complete this mammoth endurance test.”

The non-stop competitive squash matches will take place every hour with only a series of five minute intervals for breaks. The experienced squash player has also put himself through a variety of sleep deprivation challenges in preparation.

“I have constantly played squash on my own for 15 hours non-stop as well as walking and running for 35 hours,” Mark said.

The current record for the longest marathon playing squash (singles) is 35 hours two minutes and three seconds achieved by Darren Yates and Adam Fisher (both New Zealand) in Perth, Western Australia, on April 12 of this year.

This attempt will also help raise funds for a worthy cause - Nyumbani Scotland. The charity was set up by Rotarians to raise funds and awareness of the plight of HIV+ orphans in Kenya.

“I have chosen this charity simply because for the last 12 years my mother, linked to the charity, has been an inspiration, locally and internationally. I also feel it’s the time in my life to contribute, get involved and raise money for such a worthwhile cause.”

Mark was motivated not only by the charity but by his own passion for his beloved sport.

The challenge is set to take place at Montrose Sports Centre on Friday, June 19, starting at 9pm and finishing...hopefully a long time later! If Mark is successful then he will achieve a record-breaking 37 hours.

To support Mark and the Nyumbani charity visit www.justgiving.com/mark-james35