Champs plan on running for charities

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SOUTH Yorkshire League cricket champions Whitley Hall are behind a pretty unusual fund-raising idea which they hope will raise thousands of pounds for local charities.

Whitley first XI captain Alex Fletcher has come up with an idea called “Running the League” - nothing to do with administration but all about running to the ground of every cricket club in the Premier Division.

That’s 12 grounds and a total distance of around 75 miles.

Fletcher said: “We had a new clubhouse a couple of years ago, the club has blossomed into a vibrant and enjoyable place and none of this or our achievements would have been possible without backing, sponsorships and support from the local community and many people.

“So, I believe it is time to put something back and I have come up with this little idea.”

The plan is for a pair of runners to each cover one of 12 legs, running from club to club, starting at Whitley and ending back there.

He explained: “I’ve mapped out a route and a likely path of each leg, with the shortest leg being 2.2 miles (Elsecar to Rockingham) and the longest being the 15 miles between Aston Hall and Hallam. I’m still working on all the logistics involved.

“I want to raise money for charities in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley - areas from where our clubs are drawn - and also our own close-to-home charity, Parkinson’s.

“What we want clubs to do is have a ‘loose change’ donation ‘pot’ on the bar, collect up over the season and the run will be organised at the end of the season when it will be collected and donated. We’re also looking for individual sponsorships and internet donations.”

The planned legs (with approximate distances) are Whitley-Elsecar (8miles); Elsecar-Rockingham (2.2); Rockingham-Barnsley (5.4); Barnsley-Houghton Main (8); Houghton Main-Wath (5.3); Wath-Wickersley (9.2); Wickersley-Whiston (2.9); Whiston-Treeton (3.7); Treeton-Aston Hall (3.1); Aston Hall-Hallam (15.1); Hallam-Bradfield (6.7); Bradfield-Whitley Hall (8.2).

“I’m sure the cricketing fraternity will give this their full backing and, if all goes well, we’d be looking about doing it all in about 13 hours,” added Fletcher.

Meanwhile, back on the cricketing front, Whitley are at home tomorrow against fierce rivals Treeton, the team they pipped to the title last season but who beat them in the Yorkshire Council Championship Final.

Other Premier Division games tomorrow are: Aston Hall v Barnsley, Bradfield v Whiston PC, Hallam v Elsecar, Rockingham v Houghton Main, Wickersley OV v Wath. All start 1pm.