YORK City Knights forward Danny Washbrook is hopeful that his charity fundraising challenge can provide some structure and purpose with rugby league action indefinitely suspended.

In March, the Rugby Football League put action on the field on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic which has seen the country go into lockdown.

Like many other sportspeople, Washbrook has decided to use his time to raise money for a charitable cause.

Late last month, Washbrook revealed that he was to cycle 380 miles on his cycling machine in his back garden, the same distance as the Tour de Yorkshire - one of several sporting events which were cancelled amid the current pandemic.

Through his JustGiving page, the two-time Challenge Cup winner with Hull FC will be raising money for the NHS Charities Together and the Dove House Hospice.

The effort sees Washbrook ride 10 miles every day for 38 consecutive days and began on Monday, April 20.

“It was about trying to find something that gave me a little bit of purpose,” said the 34-year-old on his inspiration for the challenge.

“Obviously, sitting here in furlough (from his day job working in recruitment) and not being in work and then not being able to play rugby games either, it felt like I had a lot of spare energy and spare time to do something.

“I thought that I might as well do something worthwhile.

“I had a quick look on the internet for some ideas that I could come up with.

“I noticed that the Tour de Yorkshire, which was due to happen in April, had been cancelled.

“And then the idea just went from there really.

“It’s about having something to focus on.

“With not being at work or at rugby, I’m getting up everyday and doing exercise, it gets a little bit monotonous.

“You’re trying to stay in shape for rugby and rugby requires a very specific type of fitness.

“I wanted to try something a little bit different to do on top of that.

“It’s something that I can aim at and keep in mind while I’m doing it."

Washbrook has installed a Rolling Road in his back garden, which he places his bike onto and can use to measure his speed and distance for the challenge.

“There’s a generator that’s attached to the back and it tells me how fast I’m going, how far I’ve gone and my power as well," he explained.

“I bought the frame a while ago to help with my rugby fitness because there’s only so much running you can do before your knees start to feel it.

“I wanted to be able to have a few days or a week where I was off my feet and on the bike and it all stemmed from there.

“I’ll be cycling the same distance as the Tour de Yorkshire which is 380 miles.

“I’ve not made it too tough on myself, so I’m only doing 10 miles a day.

"Some people have said that I can do more and some have said that that is a lot.

“I think that it’s a good amount of distance to cover everyday.

"I’m trying to fit it in around my own day.

“I’m still doing other fitness and weight sessions to keep fit for rugby and obviously I’ve got my kids to look after as well.

“It’s about keeping fit as well as trying to do something meaningful and worthwhile.

A total of 380 miles is not a meagre distance either.

“I worked it out as the same distance if I was to drive from my house to London and back," Washbrook added.

“I’ve driven that route enough times to know that if I were to try that on my bike, it wouldn’t be pleasant!

“I think that I’ll have some sore legs and little bit of saddle sore by the time that I am finished but hopefully it will all be worthwhile."

May people will be familiar with the NHS Charities Together which has raised vast amount of money recently amid the current strains on the health service.

Washbrook's other charity, the Dove House Hospice, which is based in Hull, are less well-known.

“They’re a hospice, so they don’t get any funding from the government and they rely on fundraising," said the back-rower.

“They do end-of-life care and look after people when they’re ill, whether they’re young or old.

“My Grandad spent some time in there.

"Unfortunately he didn’t spend very long in there and I know of other people who have or have had family who have.

“Everybody always talks about the good work that they do and even from the small time that I spent there, I could see them doing some amazing work."

Between the two charities, Washbrook has raised over £1,500 at the time of writing, having set a total target of £3,000 (£1,5000 on each).

l To support Danny Washbrook's cause in support of NHS Charities Together and the Dove House Hospice, which finishes on Thursday, May 28, visit: www.justgiving.com/team/dwashfundraising.