The phrase ‘sport changes lives’ has been bandied around a lot lately, but if you’re anything like me, half the time you probably think what does that even mean? Well this week I came across an event that gives a hard-hitting perspective to this phrase, and it even has a memorable name to boot – Run for Love.
Now this may seem like a bit of shameless promotion for an event coming up but screw it. It’s in the name of a good cause so I’m going to do it. As you read this, runners across London are no doubt digging out sweatbands, buffing up trainers and gearing up to take on the challenge of a 14.6km run around Richmond Park. This is all to support Love 146, a charity that wants to abolish the horrific child trafficking and exploitation trade. Pretty admirable stuff.
I must admit that personally, I will not be taking up this challenge but that is only because last time I ran anywhere I fell on my face. However, there is still time for the more co-ordinated among you to take part.
Each runner who signs up will be able to take in the surrounds of Richmond Park while pushing themselves to sporting success and doing their bit to help the 1.2 million or so children that UNICEF estimate are sold into slavery each year.
The event, now in its second year, has even caught the imagination of Total Wipeout host Amanda Byram who has become an ambassador for Love 146 and recently visited one of the charity’s survivor care homes in the Philippines. She told The London Word: ‘I feel so passionate about helping children who have been sold into slavery. I have seen with my own eyes that children can recover and rediscover a happy and normal life. Every child deserves this freedom.’
And how does running 14.6km help children sold into slavery I hear you wonder? Well, from my understanding, like this – runners run, sponsors sponsor, and then Love 146 uses the money collected to help fund projects which create awareness about the problem. The charity will also help develop educational tools to safeguard children against issues like grooming and provide prevention and aftercare services for victims of the sex slavery and exploitation trade.
So if you are feeling sporting confident and are at a loose end on Saturday, why not help out a charity and give Run for Love a whirl? I would… if I didn’t have two left feet.
Run for Love will take place at 10am on Saturday 6 October at:
Robin Hood Gate