STUDENT footballers have held a huge charity rowathon.

The women’s football team at the University of Chester’s Padgate campus covered the distance of the English Channel on rowing machine during a gruelling 12 hour challenge.

Starting the day at 6am in order to set up gazebos and equipment before beginning rowing at 7am, the squad took it in turns to cover a distance of 350 miles before a 7pm deadline.

Battling against the elements after a thunderstorm hit during the day, the students held the rowathon in order to raise hundreds of pounds for the Women in Sport charity.

Policing students Lucy Morris and Safina Hussain, both aged 20, devised the event and were also joined by members of the university’s rugby team during the fundraiser before the Christmas holidays.

Lucy, from Pembrokeshire, said: “The idea came from when we had a committee meeting.

“We said we wanted to do something different that other teams wouldn’t have thought of, and something that was a challenge that we would have to work towards.

“It was a lot of planning and hard work but it was a great day, so it was well worth it.

“So far we have raised more than £500.

“We are all very proud of everyone who took part, and to raise so much before Christmas was great too.”

Hayley Braddock, fitness facilities coordinator at the Crab Lane campus, added: “I’m really proud of Lucy and the women’s football team for completing this gruelling task, especially with all of the weather issues they faced.

“Women in Sport is a great charity to raise awareness and highlight the achievements of women – not only in sport, but also in society.”