Sailors raise cash for charity in crossbar challenge at HMS Collingwood in Fareham

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HITTING the crossbar is a bit of a galling feeling for any footballer.

But that’s exactly what sailors at HMS Collingwood were tasked with doing as they raised cash for charity.

PO Kev Bentley, PO Matt Sommerville, PO Roger Bentley, Natalie Sommerville, Corine Day all in goal and Commander Andy Phenna. ''Commander Andy Phenna, Executive Officer for HMS Collingwood kick starts the Cross Bar Challenge in support of the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT).''Picture: Allan Hutchings (141018-785) PPP-140304-155022001

PO Kev Bentley, PO Matt Sommerville, PO Roger Bentley, Natalie Sommerville, Corine Day all in goal and Commander Andy Phenna. ''Commander Andy Phenna, Executive Officer for HMS Collingwood kick starts the Cross Bar Challenge in support of the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT).''Picture: Allan Hutchings (141018-785) PPP-140304-155022001

Sailors and officers from across the base in Fareham took part in the challenge yesterday, taking aim, crossing their fingers and giving the ball a boot.

Petty Officer Roger Sheppard was part of the team organising the day.

He said: ‘We’ve done a few charity events in the run-up to it. This is the biggest one we’ve done.

‘We’re doing anything we can to raise cash for the Royal Navy Benevolent Trust. We’ve had officers come down and the executive officer, Commander Andy Phenna, kicked it off in the morning.’

The challenge was thought up by Petty Officer Matthew Sommerville, who was on target a couple of times, after he got the idea from the television programme Soccer AM.

He said he wanted to make the most of being at the base for a year.

He said: ‘It’s not an unrealistic challenge so everyone’s just got stuck in and had a go. We’ve had loads of support, especially the trainees.’

PO Sommerville and PO Sheppard will be joined by PO Kevin Bentley, and civilian instructor Frankie Pugliano when they take on a 20-mile obstacle course for charity soon.

Twenty-year-old sailor Callum Chaytor was celebrating after hitting the target yesterday, winning an RNBT T-shirt.

‘‘I was just superior,’ he joked.

‘It was just one of those curving ones that went in.’

Corrine Day is the events and publicity manager at the charity.

She said: ‘The boys have been brilliant.

‘We’ve had great weather, great support and a great turnout.

‘We’re so thankful for all they’ve done for us.’

The four-strong team will take on the obstacle course in May later this year as they hope to raise £1,000.