A “24-HOUR continuous gym spin” at Musselburgh Rugby Football Club is set to raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland.

The cycling challenge has been organised by 32-year-old Michael Maltman, who played for the Scotland sevens team from 2012 to 2014.

He will be joined by more than 16 teammates and club members who, in groups of three or four, will continuously cycle on static Watt Bikes for 24 hours from 7pm this Saturday until 7pm the next evening.

Michael said: “Each of the players and club members involved in this challenge have their own reasons for taking part, whether it be the death of a loved one or living with someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia.”

He explained that his gran died from dementia and his father-in-law, Stan Brookes, 70, who was a professional footballer for Doncaster Rovers FC and KV Mechelen, has sadly moved into full-time care due to his “rapidly deteriorating health from the disease”.

Michael explained: “He was a defender and was diagnosed with sport-related Alzheimer’s.

“Some of his favourite pastimes in the last couple of years was going for organised walks through Alzheimer Scotland and also supporting Musselburgh rugby on a Saturday.”

East Lothian Courier: A 'team 24-hour continuous gym spin' at Musselburgh Rugby Football Club is set to raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland

Originally from Doncaster, Mr Brookes relocated to Scotland with his family later in his life, staying in Musselburgh, Prestonpans and Haddington.

He played 140 consecutive games for KV Mechelen, not missing a single minute according to the club’s archivist, Mr Maltman said.

The team is already close to its £3,000 target so hopes to raise as much money as possible for the charity.

Its JustGiving page states: “As rugby players, we have all had our fair share of head knocks.

“Recent results from the FIELD [Football’s InfluencE on Lifelong health and Dementia risk] research programme has found that ex-professional international rugby players had twice the risk of developing dementia in later life than compared to the general population. This is one of the reasons why raising money for Alzheimer Scotland is so important to us.”

It added: “All donations are used by Alzheimer Scotland to: find a cure; pay for carers; fund day centres; provide emergency relief carers; and run the helpline.”

Michael said: “So many people have been affected by dementia so even £5 donations all add up to make a real difference to the work Alzheimer Scotland does.”

He explained: “Each team of four will cycle in rotations of 15 minutes, continuously for 24 hours.

“Basically, for each person it will be 15 minutes on, 45 minutes off for 24 times. This will be six hours of cycling per person.

“For teams of three there will be rotations of 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off for 24 times.

“However, the time cycling for these groups will be eight hours per person.

“The main challenge will be the fatigue of constant resistance from the Watt Bikes and lack of sleep.”

Michael also plans to run a raffle, with high-value donations from local businesses, in aid of Alzheimer Scotland to coincide with the annual pre-season derby between Musselburgh and Preston Lodge RFC for the Jardine Cup on August 19.

Alzheimer Scotland’s website states: “Dementia affects the brain, making it harder to remember things or think as clearly as before. It’s an umbrella term for over 100 different types of illnesses and disease symptoms.

“Symptoms of dementia may include memory loss and difficulties with day to day tasks, language and problem-solving.

“Alzheimer Scotland provides information, support and dementia-friendly activities to help make sure nobody faces dementia alone.”

Go to justgiving.com/page/mrfc-gym-spin-challenge to support the team.