British sports enthusiast to run in Malta for world challenge

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British sports enthusiast to run in Malta for world challengeA British sports enthusiast will be running in Malta on Thursday, the 19th of December as part of his quest to run 10km in each member country of the Olympic movement – 204 in total.

Dan Thompson is currently visiting, and running in, as many Commonwealth countries as possible to publicise the 2014 Challenge.

The 2014 Challenge is an official Commonwealth Games Legacy 2014 programme in which participants aim to cover 2014km in teams of up to 10 people. Participants can use the 2014 Challenge to improve their health and fitness and/or raise money for charity.

The run in Malta will be Mr Thompson’s seventh run. He aims to complete his challenge by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Mr Thompson will be running in Malta on the 19th of December with Maltese marathon runner and extreme endurance athlete Nathan Farrugia.

They will set off from outside Whitehall Mansions in Ta’ Xbiex, where the British High Commission is located. Mr Thompson will be greeted by British High Commissioner Rob Luke and also joined by High Commission employees for the run.

The 2014 Challenge is a not-for-profit programme run by Gold Challenge and is the follow-up to the highly successful Olympics inspired 2012 Challenge in which over 105,000 people participated. It’s free to enter and open to everyone across the Commonwealth.

Lord Sebastian Coe, CH, KBE, the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, has described the Challenge as follows, “The 2014 Challenge is a great initiative that builds on the legacy of London 2012. It’s a fun, free way for everyone to become fitter and healthier and celebrate the upcoming Commonwealth Games.”

British High Commissioner Rob Luke commented, “The High Commission team is pleased to support Dan and to help promote the benefits of sport and exercise. Neither the Brits nor the Maltese are as active as we should be for our health. Hot on the heels of London 2012 I hope next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will also inspire more of us, particularly young people, to get active.”

Mr Thompson commented, “The 2014 Challenge and Mini Challenge are perfect for teams and individuals from schools, companies, public and third sector employers and community and sporting groups.

“We hope as many people as possible across Malta will join in by signing up at www.2014challenge.org or emailing us at 2014@goldchallenge.org for further information.”

Mr Farrugia said, “it’s always a pleasure to share a run or cycle with someone who is using their sport to support great causes and raise awareness for those in need. Sports is a perfect platform to engage with people of any age and ability as we’ve seen in the recent Paralympics. We need to inspire more people to make sports a major part of their lifestyle to gain healthier communities, share experiences and become better people. I’m glad Dan chose Malta at an early stage in his challenge and wish him all the best for the rest of it!”

Dan Thompson: After a career in media (music, video games, internet), Dan founded Gold Challenge. Gold Challenge launched in late 2010 and ran two Olympic and Paralympic inspired challenges in the run up to London 2012 – the 2012km Challenge and the Olympic Sport Challenge. Gold Challenge partnered with the British Olympic Association/Team GB, Paralympics GB and Sport England and was part of the official London 2012 mass participation legacy programme. Gold Challenge also worked closely with LOCOG and hosted one of the pre-Games test events in the Olympic Stadium.

The challenges were highly successful with in excess of 105,000 people participating. Over 200 schools and 100 corporations took part including large employers such as GlaxoSmithKline, Atos, EDF, Cisco, John Lewis and Coca Cola. Over £1.5 million was raised for Gold Challenge’s 150 charity partners who included household names such as Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, the NSPCC and Help for Heroes.

In early 2013, Gold Challenge launched the Take12 Challenge, a healthy living challenge funded by the London Legacy Development Corporation (the body responsible for the Olympic Park post the Games).Take12 aimed to inspire people in the Olympic host boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Barking & Dagenham to be more active and to explore the Olympic Park as it opens. Focussed on in-actives, families and young people, over 15,000 people had signed up for Take12 by September 2103.

Gold Challenge has just launched the 2014 Challenge a new, free challenge that celebrates the upcoming 2014 Commonwealth Games and aims to motivate people across the United Kingdom to be more active, raise money for charity and become healthier and fitter.

Nathan Farrugia: Nathan is the Chief Executive of the Inspire Foundation which is one of the leading NGOs in Malta supporting persons and families with disability through therapy, education and leisure services. Nathan is also the president of the Malta Paralympic Committee and a spokesperson for adapted and inclusive sports. He holds the world record for his 27 consecutive marathons in 27 different countries, and has successfully raced some of the toughest events in the world, including the Marathon des Sables, 100-mile mountain races and ultra-triathlons.

The 2014 Challenge is an official Legacy 2014 programme in which participants aim to cover 2014km in teams of up to 10 people. There is also a Mini Challenge – ideal for school children and the less active – in which the aim is to cover 201.4 km.

The distance can be covered by running, walking, swimming, cycling, canoeing, horse riding or any other method of non-motorised travel.

Participants can use the 2014 Challenge to improve their health & fitness and/or raise money for charity. All participants have their own web page on which they can log and keep track of their distances and have access to leader boards and a wealth of tools and information to help them through their challenge.

It’s free to enter and open to everyone across the Commonwealth.

The 2014 Challenge is a not-for-profit programme run by Gold Challenge and is the follow up to the highly successful Olympics inspired 2012 Challenge in which over 105 000 people participated.

Please go to http://www.2014challenge.org/ to register or for more information.

Dan is currently undertaking his own personal Run the World Challenge which involves him running 10 km in every country in the world.

Dan is running in every country which is a member of the Olympic movement – a total of 204 countries. (By way of comparison, the United Nations currently has 193 member states.)

The run in Ta’ Xbiex on Thursday 19 December will be his seventh run. He aims to complete his challenge by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In 2012, Dan completed his previous challenge which saw him undertake every different Olympic and Paralympic event – 114 events in total including show jumping, the high dive, white water canoeing, 10km open water swim, 150km road cycle, 50km walk, the marathon and the pole vault.

Follow Dan on Twitter @DTGoldChallenge #Sportisgreat.

Photograph – Dan at the launch of Gold Challenge.

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