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Sweating it out: Veolia employees Scott Bond and Brett Johnathon working through the final hour of the Iron Heart 24-hour challenge.

A recycling depot may seem like an unlikely spot for people to do exercise. But 38 depot workers did exactly that, and all for a good cause.

A group from Veolia’s recycling facility at Arndell Park took part in the Iron Heart 24-hour Challenge on November 21, exercising for 24-hours straight in
an effort to raise money for children’s charity Barnardos.

Five teams worked their way around an exercise circuit which included rowing, cycling, running and cardio workouts. Each team had two people exercising for two hours at a time before swapping over.

Veolia general manager and Iron Heart Challenge participant, Scott Bond, said the group’s effort raised more than $60,000.

"I thought if we raised between $5000 and $10,000 that would be fantastic, but we quickly realised we would exceed it," Mr Bond said.

"The money will go towards helping vulnerable families, as well as going towards Christmas lunches and presents for those most in need."

Preparing for the fundraiser since February, participants trained three times a week to be physically ready for the 24-hour event. Participants ran a combined total of 252 kilometres, cycled 915 kilometres and did more than 18,000 squats and push-ups.

Mr Bond said fitness was at an all-time high as a result of the fundraiser.

NRL players including Wests Tigers Aaron Woods and Manly Sea Eagles Tim Moltzen helped in the effort.

"If the worker was tired and couldn’t complete their two-hour stint, they could pay money and have the NRL player finish it for them," Mr Bond said.

The success of the Iron Heart Challenge has prompted the team at Veolia to start preparing for a similar event next year.

"We’d definitely like to do another challenge next year," Mr Bond said.

(This article was first published in the Blacktown Sun and was written by Andrew Brown.)

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