He Dares and the charity wins

Andy Carter, of East Kent freemasons, Adams Lodge No.158, recently took on a personal challenge to raise money for charity. He took on a version of the SAS fitness test entry requirements, to raise funds for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.

Andy who runs a Martial Arts and Fitness gym on the Isle of Sheppey, he has been training Martial Arts for over 35 years and last sixteen years he has been doing it for a living.

He has competed in many competitions at local, national, and international level and has been fortunate on many occasions to win various medals and awards. So, he is no stranger to a challenge and the hard work it takes to reach the end goal. He does weight training 4 mornings, alongside his normal martial arts training day to day. In his spare time (which is very limited) he goes mountain biking and Kayaking. Making him no stranger to heavy physical and mentally challenging exercise.

So, it’s no surprise that among his favourite TV shows is “Who Dares Wins” where members of the public sign up and take part in the gruelling process of SAS selection, no mean feat for a man who celebrates his 50th birthday in October this year.

He Dares and the charity wins picture of Andy on his challenge

To attempt a version of the SAS basic fitness entry requirements:
1.5 mile run in under 9 and a half minutes
45 press ups (minimum)
45 sit ups (minimum)
200 metre swim with 5-minute water tread
Underwater dive
8 mile hill run in full kit (25kg Bergan)

Andy decided to seek advice from a very good friend of his, Ryan Simpson, a Lance Corporal in the 4th Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, his advice was going to prove invaluable!

Andy’s training began slowly and gradually increasing over time. Some elements would prove easier than others, for example press ups and sit ups are part of his everyday classes at the gym, so that part was straight forward. The swimming and water work, Andy having completed NPLQ lifeguard training years ago, it was more a case of getting back in the water and upping the water fitness.

The 8-mile march was going to be the toughest part, over the three months there were many ups and downs, laughs and injuries, the worst of which was a damaged Achilles tendon which he suffered during his first march with full weight. That meant he had to stay off it for the 2 weeks leading up to the challenge! But time seemed to fly by and before he knew it, August came around and it was time for the challenge!

It was a tough 24 hours  – and here is a breakdown of his challenge results:

Monday 15th August – 19.00 hrs
1.5 mile run in under 9.5 mins (completed in 8.18 mins)
45 press ups (completed in 53 secs)
45 sit ups (completed in 1.08 mins)

Tuesday 16th August – 07.00 hrs
200 metre swim (completed in 10 mins)
Under water dive (achieved 10 metres)
5 minute water tread (only managed 3.5 mins – Shoulder injury made it painful)

Tuesday 26th August – 15.30 hrs
8 mile march in full kit and 25kg Bergan (completed in 2hrs 18mins)

Not a bad time for someone with a strapped up achillies tendon, rock tape and 2 ankle support.

His march route it took him past his local cenotaph, where he stopped to pay his respect to fallen hero’s!


Andy said,  “I cannot thank everyone enough for their continued support throughout my training and during the actual challenge.
I am very humbled by everyone’s generosity with their donations – I haven’t stopped counting, as money is still coming in – but I’m sure we’re now up to around £1300.
Thank you all so very much – the money is going to an amazing charity!!

Thank you to everyone that came to my gym to see me off and on my return”

Andy Is looking for a new challenge for next year!

Do you have a story or challenge that you or your lodge or chapter are taking part in?

Please let us know, and let everyone else know, the more people know, the more you could raise!

Contact Phil [email protected]