Twelve staff from SMT GB embarked on a team-building day with a difference when they completed the toughest endurance challenge in Scotland, raising almost £8K for the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
Headquartered in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, and with offices spread throughout England, Scotland and Wales, the ‘SMT Yompers’ team took part in the Cateran Yomp this weekend, which challenges teams of soldiers, veterans and civilians to walk 22, 36 or 54 miles across the rugged terrain of the Perthshire countryside in less than 24 hours.
SMT GB is the exclusive dealer of Volvo Construction Equipment and K-Tec Earthmover products in Great Britain. In addition to delivering industry-leading product support throughout England, Scotland and Wales, SMT GB provides a range of end-to-end efficiency and productivity-boosting solutions, which ensure customer investments are protected and profits are maximised.
The team represented a cross-section of the company’s diverse community, ranging in age from late 20s to early 60s, with job roles consisting of engineering, marketing, sales and support office staff, spread across almost all of SMT GB’s nine Customer Support Centres. Seven of the team made it to Gold (54 miles), with another reaching Silver (36) and three to Bronze (22).
Leading the team was Duxford-based Health and Safety Manager Anthony McCann (55), who served with the Royal Artillery for almost 30 years, and whose three sons are still currently serving. Anthony joined the army as a soldier at the age of 16. Over the course of his 28-year career, Anthony served in Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Cyprus, Iraq and Afghanistan and rose to the rank of Captain.
Commenting on the challenge, Anthony said, “The Cateran Yomp was challenging, physically and mentally. It was a great event and everyone in our team thoroughly enjoyed the experience in so many ways. So many of our team members will have different memories. The organisation by ABF was exceptional and to turn out food and support around the course was phenomenal.”
Over 1,200 soldiers and civilians from across the globe came together to support ABF The Soldiers’ Charity during the 12th Cateran Yomp.
Raising £300,000, the participants, aged 16 to 76, travelled from as far as the US, Lebanon, New Zealand, Ukraine, Italy and Germany to walk side by side on a 24-hour trek across the beautiful hills and glens of the historic Cateran Trail in Perthshire.
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is the Army’s National Charity and provides a lifetime of support to serving soldiers, former soldiers, and their immediate families when they are in need, minimising hardship and encouraging independence and dignity.
The Cateran Yomp has raised millions of pounds for the charity, with donations funding everything from wheelchair ramps for soldiers’ homes, to respite care and personal recovery plans for injured soldiers returning from the front line. In 202/23 alone, the charity supported around 70,000 members of the Army Family in 45 countries around the world; the youngest beneficiary was just three months old and the oldest was aged 103.
Starting at 6am on Saturday and ending in the early hours of Sunday morning, the event challenged teams of brave souls to walk 22, 36 or 54 miles in less than 24 hours. They enjoyed favourable weather on the 54-mile route around the foothills of the Cairngorms, with the distraction of live music, magically lit forests and fireworks.
This year’s event was sponsored by The Famous Grouse, alongside Dover Fuelling Solutions, Arnold Clark Car and Van Rental, Land Rover Pentland, and Leonardo. The Cateran Yomp also works with a range of local sponsors who donate gifts in kind for the event, including Castle Water, Mackie’s of Scotland and Tunnocks.
Reflecting on the weekend, Major General Tim Hyams CB OBE, Chief Executive of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, commented: “The Cateran Yomp is a flagship event for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, and has this year seen record participation. I am hugely grateful to every single participant; all of whom have demonstrated significant mental and physical resilience, and an evident sense of teamwork. In so doing, they have made a tangible difference to our ability, as the Army’s national charity, to be there for soldiers, for life.”