On Wednesday, 8th of the November 2023, members of British Forces Cyprus personnel took part in Cyprus’ first ever Doko race.
The race saw participants run 5kms in teams of four whilst carrying a traditional ‘Doko’ basket weighted with 10kg. The aim of the event was to promote understanding of Nepalese culture and the selection process for Gurkha soldiers as well as to raise funds for The Gurkha Welfare Trust.
The selection process to become a Gurkha is intense; in addition to English grammar and mathematics tests, initiative and medical assessments and interviews with serving officers, candidates face gruelling fitness tests. These include a ‘Doko race’, which involves carrying 25kg of sand while running up a steep 4.2km course which they must complete in under 46mins. Becoming a Gurkha is a matter of great pride. Thousands of young Nepali men apply, but few are accepted. This year, out of 20,000 applicants only 204 were selected.
Ten teams of four people took part in Cyprus’ first Doko race raising an incredible €720 to help support our work in Nepal to help Gurkha veterans and their widows live with dignity. Two teams from 15 Squadron, RAF Regiment came out on top, completing the race in 28mins and 19secs.