Jamie Peacock MBE, Rugby League legend, has announced he is running a unique ultra marathon around London in order to fundraise for sports and mentoring charity Greenhouse Sports on March 5th. The decision to independently run the 45 miles comes after the announcement that Green Man Ultra Marathon, which Jamie was due to run, has been postponed as a result of Covid-19.
Despite the disruption, Jamie is dedicated to completing his own ultra marathon and raising a target of £30,000, which will provide a fulltime Greenhouse Sports Coach to a school for a whole year.
Jamie is set to run the course and fundraise with Simon Dent, keen endurance runner and founder of sports marketing agency Dark Horses in a socially distanced manner and in accordance with all Covid-19 government guidelines. Together, Jamie and Simon will make a 45 mile loop around London, which will begin and end at the Greenhouse Centre, the charity’s HQ, and check in at a number of the 40 schools in the capital that Greenhouse Coaches support.
With the Rugby League World Cup hosted in England this autumn, Jamie will also route by the two venues in the capital that will host matches – Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium, and the Copper Box in the Olympic Park in Stratford, that will host the Wheelchair Rugby matches.
Jamie, who made more than 500 club appearances and accumulated 47 international caps, has chosen to support Greenhouse Sports because of his passion for sport and the positive impact that sports has on children and their mental health and academic achievement. It has been proven that sport has a positive and powerful impact on people, particularly children, and Jamie wants to ensure that more children are given that opportunity.
Greenhouse Sports use a unique combination of mentoring and sport to help young people living in poverty reach their full potential, both at school and then into employment. Currently there are 4 million children in the UK living in poverty, and these children’s circumstances are impacted more by Covid-19, with worse mental health outcomes, academic outcomes and employment prospects. Greenhouse Sports work in schools where at least 67% of pupils live in areas of high deprivation.
Greenhouse Sports, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, partners with schools to embed full-time coaches who become trusted mentors and inspire the children to aim higher.
This unique formula mirrors Jamie Peacock’s love of coaching and mentoring, something which he has turned into a professional enterprise with his motivational and team building courses, and recent launch of his self-development book ‘Be A Champion’.
If Jamie reaches his fundraising goal, his efforts will provide a fulltime Greenhouse Sports Coach to a school for a year. In the provision of the coach, these young people will have a consistent and positive role model who can help develop their sporting ability, life skills and academic performance. School children supported by a Greenhouse Sports Coach are on average likely to attend more than 5 days of school a year than those not on Greenhouse programmes.
As the run is due to take place on the usual date of the annual Greenhouse’s City Dodgeball tournament fundraiser, plans are also underway to invite the Dodgeball teams and firms in a Covid-safe running challenge at the same time to support Jamie’s Challenge and raise funds.
Jamie Peacock says, “Greenhouse is an amazing charity that uses sports coaching and mentoring as a vehicle to engage children, helps them meet friends and develop key life skills. Sport and activity is so important for children and Greenhouse offers quality coaching and support to children from some of the poorest parts of the UK.
“Given the social, economic and health impact of the multiple restrictions and lockdowns in the UK, Greenhouse Coaches’ work in communities during 2021 will be more important than ever.
Even though the official race has been postponed, I could not pass up an opportunity to fundraise for such an impactful organisation.
“It’s long (!) but a fun and inspirational route of the capital, via the Thames and through parks, going past some of the many schools Greenhouse supports across 17 London boroughs, and checking by at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, which hopefully come October will showcase the best of the international Rugby League as part of England 2021 World Cup.
Beatrice Butsana-Sita, CEO of Greenhouse Sports says, “We are thrilled that Jamie and Simon have chosen Greenhouse Sports as the recipient of their next fundraising challenge. It is absolutely amazing to have support like this and we are humbled by their willingness to go the extra mile, despite that the official Green Man Ultra Marathon has been postponed.
“2020 has been an extremely tough year for charities, with our fundraising events all cancelled due to Covid-19, so having the extra help is something we are truly grateful for. A fulltime Greenhouse Sports coach is so important for children in the schools that we work with – they aren’t just a sports coach, but a mentor, friend, and someone for these children to look up to. We can’t say thank you enough to Jamie and Simon for their generous support.”
If you would like to donate to this great cause, please follow the link here to Jamie and Simon’s JustGiving page.