Canterbury Uni students playing cricket around the clock to raise money for Gumboot Friday

A group of Canterbury University students are taking on a unique challenge today, playing backyard cricket for 24 hours straight in the depths of a Christchurch winter.

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A group of Canterbury students are playing backyard cricket for 24 hours straight in the depths of Christchurch winter. Source: 1 NEWS

It is all in the name of charity, the students hoping to raise $42,000 on their Givealittle page as part of Gumboot Friday, equating to 365 therapy sessions through Mike King's I Am Hope charity.

"We're running a marathon. But we're doing it while playing backyard cricket and we're doing it over a 24 hour period," BYC Marathon co-captain George Glover said.

"The degree of separation in New Zealand is two, our degree of separation to mental health and suicide is one. We all know somebody who is affected by it, whether that be one of our loved ones or ourself."

While playing cricket for 24 hours straight is tough enough, the fact temperatures in Christchurch are expected to drop to six degrees overnight followed by some morning rain, makes it even tougher.

"After we initially organised it we realised how cold it was going to be overnight," co-captain Josh Stefan said.

"So there's certainly going to be some coffees going around and everyone will be rugged up probably wearing some skins and jumpers ... it's not going to be warm."

Prior to the Black Caps departing for their tour of England, the BYC Marathon team joined them for a training session in Lincoln, hoping to pick up some tips from the professionals.

They caught the eye of Black Caps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen, who reminisced the tips and tricks of the backyard cricketing trade when he was the students' age.

"We had rocks on a length, tape up the ball, dishwashing detergent, that's one I did in my early 20s when I was their age," Jurgensen said, while also believing the event would be a life-long memory for the young men.

"At the time it might be really tough, but the cause is absolutely fantastic and when they get to the end they'll remember it for years to come. They'll remember it for the rest of their lives what they've achieved."