West Chiltington & Thakeham cricketers undertake gruelling running challenge for charity

Four West Chilington & Thakeham Cricket Club players have taken up the challenge of running 1,240km between them in March for charity.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 3:05 pm
West Chilt cricketers Hugo Gillespie, Ben Lucking, Harriet Thornton and Lyle Aichroth (left to right) will run 1,240km in March in aid of The Ruth Strauss Foundation. Picture courtesy of Harriet Thornton

Hugo Gillespie, Lyle Aichroth, Harriet Thornton and Ben Lucking, known as the Team Four Fundraising team, have undertaken the gruelling trial in aid of The Ruth Strauss Foundation - a charity launched by cricketer Sir Andrew Strauss to raise awareness of the need for more research in the fight against non-smoking lung cancers following the death of his wife Ruth in 2018.

Thronton said: "The four of us became friends through West Chiltington & Thakeham Cricket Club from a very young age however Covid has been keeping us apart.

"The lockdowns have caused all sorts of difficulties and we wanted to do something that would be more positive than simply waiting for the current one to end.

"Between us, we have had A Level disruption, gap year plans postponed, Sussex County Cricket programmes suspended and the uncertainty of starting university in different parts of the country, including myself at Exeter and Hugo at Loughborough.

"Lyle is studying for his A Levels and Ben has taken a gap year aiming to get an apprenticeship before going to Cardiff Uni next year.

"The idea was very spontaneous and I don’t think any of us realised how much of a commitment and challenge running 10km every day would be whilst balancing our studies.

"Within the first few days it dawned on us how big a challenge this was going to be and wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew!

"We considered running to raise money for mental health as its very pertinent at the moment, however we decided the Ruth Strauss Foundation was more personal to us due to the cricket link and the fact that we have all experienced a loss to cancer."

The quartet have set up a GoFundMe page and have set themselves a target of raising £2,500.

The campaign has smashed it's desired donation goal, raising £3,641, and Thornton couldn't be more thrilled.

She added: "From day one of setting up our GoFundMe page we were getting incredibly generous donations from friends and family.

"We imagined £2,500 would be a challenge but we wanted to aim high for such an amazing cause.

"We quickly realised that we were going to smash our original goal and we are so proud!"

And Thornton was just as proud of Gillespie, Aichroth and Lucking for taking up the charitable cause as a team.

She said: "The four of us decided to do this together and I am so proud of the boys. Being a team of four has meant we have pushed and supported each other.

"There have been a few tough days, from pouring rain to injuries, but we have always picked each other up and been there for one another, even if it was just on FaceTime."

The quartet would like to thank their friends and families, West Chiltington & Thakeham Cricket Club and The Ruth Strauss Foundation for their continuous support throughout their charity campaign.

The foursome will be finishing their run tomorrow (Wednesday) at West Chiltingon & Thakeham Cricket Club at 5pm. People are welcome to come down to the car park to cheer them on.