For Ray Matthews’ 75thbirthday, he decided to run 75 marathons in 75 days. For his upcoming 80thbirthday, he's turned his attention to getting the next generation moving.
‘Rotherham recently topped the list for child obesity,’ says Matthews, ‘so I wanted to do something to get kids active and mobile. We can’t wait for tomorrow; the children are the future and we need to talk to them today.’
To this end, Matthews devised 80-80-80 Challenge, which involved getting 80 schools in and around Rotherham to run at least 80 miles and raise £80 for Age UK.
‘It’s about getting the younger generation to support the older generation,’ he says.
In preparation for the challenge, which takes place on Wednesday 30 June – Matthews’ 80th birthday – he’s been going into schools and encouraging pupils and teachers to get moving.
‘It’s not rocket science,’ he says. ‘Once you get people moving, they soon start to see the results. The teachers have been benefiting, too; they say they’re slimmer, healthier and are delivering better lessons as a result.’
As for the kids, Matthews hopes this will just be the start of their running journey.
‘Running has given me the drive, passion and energy to take on these challenges, and it’s kept me healthy. I’m as passionate about running as I’ve always been. Through running, I believe children can learn the discipline to take on any challenge in life.’
Donate to the 80-80-80 Challenge: ray-matthews.com
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