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On Saturday 28th November 2020, Athersley Rec FC players both past and present took part in a village to village relay to raise funds to provide free meals and presents for children in our community who need support this Christmas time.
The 33.79 mile run took participants on a legged journey from Monk Bretton to the surrounding villages of Athersley, Carlton, Royston, Mapplewell, Darton, Wilthorpe, Pogmoor and finally to Barnsley town centre where they greeted and cheered by family members as they completed the gruelling run in tough weather conditions.
Every participant ran a leg of the marathon each, which amounted to around one-mile before they all rejoined and finished the journey together in adherence to social distancing guidelines as they ran through the streets of Oakwell before crossing the finish line in the stadium’s main car park to a big round of applause.
Event organiser, Thomas Rushforth was delighted with how the fundraiser turned out and was over the moon with the amount of money raised for the local children in our area.
Speaking after the event, he said:
“We were raising money for kids less fortunate who are maybe going to go hungry at Christmas or who might not receive many, if any presents.
“It was something which resonated with myself and 20 odd other lads. I popped it into a WhatsApp group saying ‘We’ve got to do something about this. I’ve had a think and what about a village to village relay marathon?’ and within a minute, six people had come back saying that they don’t care what it is, they just wanted to be involved.
“So, we wanted to get as many people and as many villages involved as we could and raise as much money as possible… I don’t like to sit back, we want to intervene and help, but that’s not always the case and it’s not always easy, however on this occasion, there was no going back once we were committed. We wanted to raise money and help the community and help the kids because no kid deserves to go hungry.”
Reds in the Community’s Health Officer, Sean Margison was also involved with the event and added:
“It’s been a fantastic initiative! We’ve all played football together for a number of years. We’ve got a WhatsApp group and one of the lads said that they wanted to do something to raise money for kids who usually get free school meals and they came up with this idea and everyone jumped on it.
“Not only is it a great cause, but it’s also been good for these as a group because it’s got them out running again and it’s got a bit of banter flying on WhatsApp… so it’s been spot on.”
We would like to say a huge thank you to:
Thomas Rushforth, Dawn Tyas, Aiden Tyas, Jacob Harban, Scott Alcock, Carl Siddall, Richard Gomersall, Chris Boreham, Ryan White, Adam White, Nick Gillott, Kyle Cook, Jason Bentley, Matthew Thompson, Martin Fox, Jonny Wallman, Jamie Wallman, Mark Hydes, Jack Briscoe, Mark Ryan, Ash Rawson and Kev Locke who all took part in the event as well as shirt sponsors Perfecta Driveways and Smarttrax Electrical.
If you would like to get involved with this brilliant initiative or find out more information, please visit the JustGiving page.