DUNC smash record for longest match
From the 5th-8th june Durham University Netball Club attempted to set the world record for the longest continuous netball match.
A brutal 72-hour marathon was completed, smashing the previous record by 12 hours.
Although a Guinness adjudicator was not present, evidence has been supplied and an official decision will be made in due course.
The idea was originally sprung from DUNC fundraising secretary Maxime Rowson in the summer of 2011 and throughout the year figures across the club have put in a tremendous amount of effort to arrange an event of this magnitude.
Over the opening hours of the charity game the lead changed hands regularly but by the first morning the ‘purple team’ had opened up what became an unassailable advantage of over 100 points.
Despite the best efforts of their black-dressed counterparts, the closest the two teams came after the opening 12 hours was 20 points and throughout the remaining 60 hours the purples continued to dominate.
However, the blacks were persistent and still gave a fantastic performance.
Club Captain Katie Worthington spoke honestly of the true pain experienced by the players.
She said: “We knew it would be hard but none of us knew exactly how bad it would be until we were already playing.”
A stringent rotation policy meant each player spent three and a half hours on the court, followed by two and half hours off court.
But as more time passed the players began to struggle; off court time was reduced further to just an hour.
Throughout the three-day match many of them managed just eight hours of shut-eye.
The Guinness Book of World Records stipulates that a maximum of 12 players per squad can be used for an attempt to be considered valid but DUNC began with only 11 players in either squad, which was then dramatically reduced over the three days as injuries took their toll.
Some periods of the game were played as 5-a-side.
Despite obvious pain and discomfort none of the players allowed themselves to be ruled out and demonstrated an incredible spirit and desire to succeed as they continued to return to the court for further action.
Worthington reported that the pressure on the feet was the most painful part of the match, demonstrated by a number of players opting not to play in trainers and instead don their slippers or bare foot as they took to the court.
To greet the end of the 72nd hour a crowd of over a hundred surrounded the court and celebrated the momentous occasion with the very relieved and exhausted players.
The final score read 3045-2824 but the score was the least of the worries of the players as they shared this joyous moment together.
Of real importance for this event was the funds raised for the chosen charities Help for Heroes and Team Durham’s Zambia Aid project, which have passed halfway towards the £10,000 target.
How long this record will stand remains depends on whether rumours of an imminent attempt from Birmingham University are true but the magnitude of DUNC’s tremendous efforts should be remembered longer than any record can stand.