OPINION: Sport’s more than a game

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Sport is more than just kicking a ball around in the park or even watching Super Sunday with your feet up at home.

It has the power to change lives – whether that’s through playing sport or being involved at a grassroots or professional level. Sport unites us all in many ways.

Tonight is great example; the culmination of the BBC’s Sport Relief. Millions of pounds for charity have been raised through a variety of events across the country.

The headline acts were former England captain Alan Shearer and Wales international Robbie Savage attempting to sit on every seat at Wembley and television personality Davina McCall running, swimming and cycling from Edinburgh to London in seven days.

But it’s not just the famous who put their heart and soul on the line to raise money. And all the cash doesn’t go to Sport Relief – great cause that it is.

Today we’ve written about three local events that have sport as their theme and ordinary people doing remarkable things behind them.

Sheffield United fans James Kemp and Andy Dabbs were never going to miss their favourite team’s bid for glory in the FA Cup semi-final.

But before they take their seats to watch the Blades clash with Hull City on April 13, the pair will be getting on their bikes to cycle 185 miles from Bramall Lane stadium to London to raise money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

In Rotherham friends and relatives of Nick Walker have raised more than £32,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital since the 16-year-old died after being hit by a bus as he crossed Bawtry Road, Wickersley, on his way to school in 2008.

A recent ball at Rotherham United’s New York Stadium is the latest event to go alongside marathons, charity evenings and a 960-mile bike ride to raise cash.

Finally Jayne Murray, aged 52, who was left with only one lung after being diagnosed with cancer about 18 months ago, will run this year’s Race for Life and has been busy drumming up support.

Well done to one and all. Sport can make a huge difference as tonight will show.