A SPORTING challenge between Shropshire’s police, army and fire service personnel has raised thousands of pounds for service charities.

Sponsorship totalling more than £4,000 was officially handed over at a presentation ceremony at Shrewsbury’s Copthorne Barracks.

The annual Mercian Macaw endurance challenge was staged over three days in May.

Teams from the three services competed in a 25km orienteering walk in north Shropshire, a canoe race from the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Vyrnwy to Frankwell Quay in Shrewsbury and a 20km cycle ride from Nesscliffe Army camp.

The Mercian Macaw cup and medals were presented to the army’s team ‘A’ by Brigadier Mark Banham, Commander 143 West Midlands Brigade and Detective Chief Inspector Alan Edwards, the head of Shropshire CID.

Runners-up were last year’s champions, police team ‘A’, followed by the fire service.

Organiser Sergeant Richard Jones said: “This was the sixth Mercian Macaw challenge and once again it was a huge success.

“It was hard graft for the participants but good fun too and further cemented the strong relationship between the police, army and fire service in Shropshire.

“Over the years, we have raised thousands of pounds for various charities and I am delighted we have again raised a considerable sum.”

Cheques totalling more than £4,000 were presented to representatives of the West Mercia Police Community Fund, the Army Benevolent Fund and the Firefighters Charity.