5 reasons to Run for Ron

Each year the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund awards small but significant grants to more than two hundred young British athletes. Here Ashleigh Spiliopoulou offers five great reasons to Run for Ron!

With the TCS London Marathon being the key date for many runners and challenge-lovers, runners might be wondering which charity to support. The Ron Pickering Memorial Fund is a great option and here are five reasons why.

1 Enable young athletes to continue chasing their dreams. 

For many young athletes, who are approaching their final school or university years, it can become challenging to continue with sport as they face the pressures to enter the working world. For many athletes, they have to combine training with part-time jobs and education. By providing them with small grants, the RPMF makes it possible for them to access good training facilities, buy better spikes or pay for travel to and from training. These small factors can make an enormous difference in keeping talented athletes involved in the sport.

2 Support hundreds of young athletes to make the transition from junior to senior level.

These RPMF grants very often support athletes in the critical transition from junior to senior level, which is notoriously difficult and can be a time of drop out. The importance of these grants is exemplified by the fact that the majority of the British athletics team at the Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics had at some point received support from the RPMF.

3 Boost the self-esteem and confidence of young athletes. 

The track and field world is highly competitive and challenging. For young athletes it can seem impossible to reach the heights of Olympic or World Championships. Our grants can represent that first symbol of belief in their ability. As former recipient, Christine Ohuruogu said, “The RPMF was the first organisation to identify and support the talent and love I had for athletics. The support I received made me feel like somebody believed in me.”

4 Help to shape the career of future Olympians. 

The RPMF identifies and supports athletes who are not otherwise receiving funding from their governing bodies. In many cases, we are the only source of financial support they have. The impact this can have on an athletes ability to access high quality training opportunities through travel, track and coaching fees, training camps, nutritional and psychological support means that many of the athletes supported by the fund go on to be supported by their governing bodies and make Olympic teams.

Previous recipients of the grant include Dina Asher-Smith, Andrew Pozzi, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Robbie Grabarz.

5 Become a part of the Ronner family. 

Everyone who runs the London Marathon in aid of the RPMF becomes part of a family of ‘Ronners’. This team forms a fantastic support network for one another through the winter training months, in preparation for the marathon. Whilst you push yourself through your physical journey to marathon fitness, you’ll have the knowledge that you are part of a wider team of like-minded individuals who have a love of sport and a passion for helping young athletes.

The team will always be on hand to offer encouragement to one another. After the marathon, you will always be welcomed by the charity to follow the journey of the athletes you have supported.