Former England rugby captain Kevin Sinfield is set to embark upon his most gruelling challenge yet to raise vital funds for charity MNDA.
After he captured the support of the nation when he completed the mammoth task of running seven marathons in seven days back in December 2020, and raised well over £2.7 million in the process, the Oldham-born 41-year-old has announced that he will attempt to run a whopping 101 miles in 24-hours.
The challenge is called #TheExtraMile, and this time round, he hopes to raise £100,000 for those impacted by motor neurone disease.
Sinfield will attempt to run from the home ground of Leicester Tigers – the club which he has joined the coaching staff of – to Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds in 24 hours, and it’s all to raise funds for the MND Association and The Rob Burrow Centre for MND.
His fundraising and awareness efforts are inspired by Sinfield’s friend and former Leeds teammate Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with MND in December 2019.
Speaking to MNDA ahead of tackling the new challenge, Kevin said: “Undoubtedly, this will the toughest challenge I have ever attempted.
“But I know it will mean so much to so many people if we can reach our fundraising target.
“In my short time at the Tigers, the people in Leicester have made me feel so welcome and it is wonderful that we have been able to come up with an event that starts in Leicester and finishes with us coming home to Emerald Headingley.”
Initially, Sinfield and his team had planned to run 100 miles, but the actual distance has worked out to be 101 miles – hence the run being named ‘The Extra Mile Challenge’.
Sinfield and his team will cover the route – which will be publicised in advance, so well wishers can come out to cheer them on – in 7km stages, each of which must be completed inside an hour with the next starting on the hour.
The challenge will begin on Monday 22 November.
“The response from the public last year was breath taking and I know, from feedback we have received from the MND Association, every penny that was raised has been put to good use to help members of the MND community across England and Wales,” Kevin continued.
“The more money we can raise, the more people we can help and ultimately find a cure for this cruel disease.
“We have seen science and research do some incredible things over the last year and I know so much work is going on to find a breakthrough for MND.
“I am sure there will be tough times as we pound the streets during the day and night, in cold November temperatures, but knowing the good we can all achieve together will be a huge motivation for everyone involved.”
Kevin appeared on BBC Breakfast yesterday to talk a little more about the challenge.
In addition to public donations, Sinfield is hoping to attract five key benefactors – whose logos will appear on his running vest – to donate £20,000 each.
This should then double the proceeds raised to £200,000.
Donations will be split equally between the Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal to build the Rob Burrow Centre for MND supporting people living with the disease and their families, and the MND Association, which funds multi-disciplinary care across the country, as well as research into potential treatments.
Over £11,000 has already been raised, with donations rising every minute.
You can find out more information, and make a donation to Kevin Sinfield’s ‘The Extra Mile Challenge’ here.
Featured Image – Twitter (@MNDA)
The Makers Market is coming back to Cutting Room Square every month as of this Sunday
The North West’s hugely popular Makers Market is returning to Ancoat’s Cutting Room Square as of this weekend, marking the start of a monthly community staple.
While Makers Markets have been popping up around the region for years now — Stockport, Cheadle, Salford and Media City; Knutsford, Northern Quarter, Didsbury, Congleton and countless other locations — it’s only ever been at Cutting Room Square just the once as part of a trial run back in November 2022.
However, after going down an absolute treat and just as popular as all the others around Greater Manchester and beyond, the organisers have decided to bring it back on a permanent basis from this weekend onwards. Ancoats just got even better.
Now, as of Sunday, 2 April, city centre residents and those travelling into town will be able to enjoy a regular community market packed with local traders from all over every month. Wonderful stuff.
If for some reason you’ve never come across a Makers Market before, the concept is pretty simple: local businesses and indie traders of all different kinds gather in public spaces like Cutting Room Square, setting up pop-up stalls to sell their wares, whatever they may be.
Whether it’d be homemade food and bakery items, handcrafted prints and textiles, or homeware, second-hand records, flowers and everything in between, there is literally always something for everyone.
More importantly, though, these monthly markets aren’t just another place to shop locally and responsibly, but they genuinely provide a wonderful sense of community, quickly cementing themselves as a regular staple for everyone to look forward to and socialise at.
Typically taking place on the second Sunday of every month and with Cutting Room Square and Ancoats already a popular district for locals and tourists alike, we’re sure the atmosphere is going to be great.
You’ve also got the successful Ancoats Pop Up events scattered throughout the rest of the 2023 calendar too — happy days.
We look forward to a year filled with plenty more markets all around Greater Manchester!
You can check out the full list of traders that will be appearing at this weekend’s Makers Market at Cutting Room Square HERE.
Graeme Park thanks fans for ‘valued support’ and launches fundraiser in memory of late son
Graeme Park has thanked fans for their “valued support” following the devastating passing of his teenage son last week.
The former Hacienda legend and his family have also set up a fundraiser in his memory.
The DJ took to social media last week to share the heartbreaking news that his “true warrior” son Oliver had passed away at the age of 18 after a year-long battle with a rare cancer.
In a tribute to the late teenager, Graeme described his son as a “kind, loving, and beautiful soul” who “fought so hard until the very end” but was sadly taken “far too soon” when he “had so much more love to offer to this world”.
Graeme’s initial post drew in thousands of messages of love and support from the Greater Manchestermusic and entertainment community and beyond, as well as from famous name including from Vernon Kay, Sacha Lord, and DJ Paulette.
He asked fans to “bear with me” and confirmed that he will not be performing DJ sets or appearing on the radio for the time being.
Now, a week after sharing the news of Oliver’s passing, Graeme, his wife Jen, and son Ben have taken the time to thank everyone for their “wonderful and valued support” – adding that the family is “heartbroken” to have lost a son, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend.
“Your messages and kind words have been well received and have offered us all some much needed strength and hope at what has been a very difficult time,” Graeme continued.
“Friends, colleagues, fans, followers and complete strangers have all been in touch in person, via phone, email and social media offering support and more, and it really has been heartwarming to read all the messages and to listen to everyone who’s called.
“Apologies if I’ve not responded to everyone, but rest assured we all really do appreciate the sentiment.
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Graeme also confirmed that, after lots of discussion following so many reaching out and asking if there’s anything they can do to help, the family has decided to set up a JustGiving page in Oliver’s memory to help raise “much needed funds and awareness” for Sarcoma UK.
Sarcoma UK is a national charity that funds vital research, offers support for anyone affected by sarcoma cancer, and campaigns for better treatments.
“After complaining of leg pain over a long period, Oliver was eventually diagnosed as having a malignant nerve sheath tumour that was a type of sarcoma, hence our decision to help Sarcoma UK,” Graeme explained.
Sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in the bone and soft tissue. It is difficult to diagnose and one of the hardest to treat – “but by donating in memory of Oliver, you can help change this.”
“Your donation will help researchers find answers, keep the specialist Support Line open, and raise awareness to improve treatment and standards of care,” Graeme concluded, “Your donations go so far in helping the sarcoma community.”
Over 200 people have already donated to the JustGiving fundraiser, with the total now at £6,900 and counting by the minute.