FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marathon Runners Raise Half a Billion Pounds For Charity
The amount raised for charity by runners in the London Marathon since it
began in 1981, is set to top half a billion pounds when the event
celebrates its 30th anniversary on 25th April this year.
Runners in last year's race raised a massive £47.2 million for charitable
causes, confirming the London Marathon as the largest annual one-day
fundraising event in the world. With a similar total expected from this
year's 36,000 runners, the total raised over 30 years since the first race
in 1981 will reach more than £500 million!
"The London Marathon is immensely proud of its record as a charity fund
raising event," said Dave Bedford, London Marathon's race director. "We
provide our runners with an opportunity to raise huge amounts for good
causes every year and will be delighted when the total raised for charity
reaches half a billion pounds in our 30th year."
In addition, over the last three decades the London Marathon Charitable
Trust has awarded more than £35 million in grants to develop sport and
recreation facilities in the capital and other areas in the country where
the London Marathon stages events.
This year the Trust has allocated a record £5 million to sports projects
across London, its largest annual awards total since the charity was
founded in 1981. The awards include total grants of nearly £3.5 million
made to 59 projects in 29 London boroughs and two cross-London schemes,
ranging in value from £750 for a short mat bowling carpet in Bromley to
£250,000 towards a new sports hall in Redbridge.
The Trust allocated a further £1.15 million to its London Marathon Playing
Fields reserve from which three quarters of a million has already been
earmarked this year to save another London playing field from closure.
Camden Community Football and Sports Association has recently been awarded
£700,000 to purchase Chase Lodge Sports Ground from the London Borough of
Camden - the sixth set of playing fields to be saved with help from the
London Marathon in the last eight years.
The former school playing fields, once Tottenham Hotspur's training ground,
had fallen into disuse and were due to be closed. The Association, a
charity set up by Hampstead and Kentish Town football clubs, will buy the
neglected 16-acre municipal site to develop a "trophy venue" for north
Londoners and full-sized football pitches for Hampstead's 600 youth
Additional plans for the sports ground include a new clubhouse and gym,
plus training facilities for youth football, while the deal includes a
guarantee that the site will remain playing fields for at least 99 years.
John Disley, chairman of the London Marathon Charitable Trust said: "This
opportune purchase of another threatened London playing field shows how
vital it is for funds to be instantly available to preserve recreational
"The London Marathon Charitable Trust has recognised this factor and the
trustees have already allocated substantial additional funds to their
playing fields account so they will be ready to step in promptly when a
seventh suitable playing field comes under threat."
This year the London Marathon trustees also made grants of £150,000 to each
of Enfield Council, to help bring the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium back into
use, and Raynes Park High School in Merton to reinstate football and
cricket pitches. Another £150,000 was given to replace changing
accommodation at Abbey Road Rec in Merton and £125,000 to refurbish
children's playgrounds in Richmond Park.
Numerous smaller grants were also made, such as £8,000 for new apparatus at
Heathrow Gymnastics Club in Hounslow; £13,000 to create an artificial bowls
surface, with access for the disabled, in Southwark Park; £9,000 for an
artificial cricket wicket in Bexley; and £65,000 for a climbing wall at
Mellish Estate in Greenwich designed to include those who are disabled or
have special needs.
More than 850 projects across the capital have benefited from the London
Marathon Charitable Trust since 1981.