STAR of Welsh rugby, Ryan Jones, is taking on the London Marathon to help raise vital funds for the NSPCC, a charity he has long supported.
Ryan has set himself two fundraising events, just weeks apart, to raise money for the child protection charity having seen the impact the pandemic has had on children and young people across Wales.
The charity’s Childline service, which has two bases in Wales, has delivered thousands of counselling sessions around mental wellbeing, family and relationship breakdowns, and abuse since the start of the pandemic. To help make sure Childline can continue to be a lifeline for the younger generation when they need it most, Ryan has decided to tackle the London Marathon on October 3.
“I take my inspiration from others,” says Ryan. “What I have seen and heard inspires me to help and support when and where I can. If what I do, or have done, just helps one child then I feel I have made a difference!
“26.2 lonely, painful miles is nothing at all compared to some of the things our young people have had to endure, which breaks my heart.”
Supporter Fundraising Manager at NSPCC Cymru/Wales, Emma Brennan says: “Ryan is a huge supporter of the NSPCC and takes a real interest in the critical role our charity plays in supporting children and young people when they need it.
“We are delighted that Ryan has decided to run the London Marathon for Team NSPCC because we rely on public donations for 90% of our income and by taking on fundraising challenges like this people can really help us be here for children and young people.
“Those who have a London Marathon place can still register to run for #TeamNSPCC and join Ryan in supporting our fight for every childhood this October, and for those looking further ahead they can sign up via our website for a place with us in 2022.”
Team NSPCC runners receive world class training tips and tailored support from the charity’s training partners as we all their own NSPCC running vest.
Ryan says: “The London Marathon is one of, if not the most, iconic mass participation event on the planet. It’s selfishly a bucket-list type event, but more importantly I love to ‘show and inspire’ – because if I can do it then anyone can.
“I love the excitement of the days before, the morning of the race and the anticipation of thousands of others as you await the start! I am excited about seeing the crowd and landmarks and of course the finish line!
“I did the virtual London Marathon last year with some friends in my home town of Swansea, bumping into lots of others doing it too. Let’s just say I got it done, but I don’t think Mo Farah has much to worry about just yet!”
It’s not the only fundraising Ryan is doing for the child protection charity this year. Next month, the former Wales international rugby captain will be hosting a charity golf day at Vale Resort near Cardiff to raise more money for Childline.
He says: “The last 18 months have been incredibly tough for everyone and particularly tough for the young people in our communities who need our support more than ever.
“Over the years, I have always supported those that need our help more than most and been a keen supporter of the NSPCC.
“Having spent time listening to those that have been supported by the NSPCC and Childline and those who do the supporting, I just wanted to support with what little profile I have left!”
The day includes 18 holes of golf, a three-course dinner, prize presentation and charity raffle. Entry is £600 for a team of four, or team of three if they want to be joined by a celebrity team captain.
For more information about the event or to secure your place, contact Rosalie Stonehouse via Rosalie.email@example.com or 029 2167 1569.
Childline is available 24/7 for children and young people on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk. Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000. Adult victims of non-recent sexual abuse can also get in touch for support.