Jamie Peacock’s ultra-marathon plan

Jamie Peacock MBE has announced that he will run a unique ultra-marathon around London, 5th March, in order to fundraise for sports and mentoring charity Greenhouse Sports. His decision to run the 45 miles independently comes after the announcement that the 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, a keen endurance runner and founder of sports marketing agency Dark Horses. They will run 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, beginning and ending at the charity’s HQ, the Greenhouse Centre, checking in at a number of the forty schools in the capital Greenhouse Coaches support.

With the Rugby League World Cup hosted in England this autumn, Jamie’s route will include two venues in the capital due to host World Cup matches – the Copper Box in the Olympic Park in Stratford, which will host the Wheelchair Rugby matches and Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium.

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 sport has on children’s 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 able to access that opportunity.

Greenhouse Sports employs a unique combination of mentoring and sport, to help young people living in poverty reach their full potential, both at school and on into employment. There are currently four million children in the UK living in poverty, and their outcomes are worsened by Covid-19, with mental health, academic achievement and employment prospects all affected. Greenhouse Sports works in schools where at least sixty-seven percent of pupils live in areas of high deprivation.

Greenhouse Sports, supported by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, partners with schools to embed full-time coaches who become trusted mentors and who aim to inspire the children to aim higher.

This unique formula mirrors Jamie Peacock’s love of coaching and mentoring, 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 contribute you can do so by going to the JustGiving page here.