KEVIN Sinfield marked the latest recognition for his fundraising exploits on behalf of the Motor Neurone Disease by setting a challenge of his own.
The Grasscroft-based rugby league great and his former Leeds Rhinos teammate Rob Burrow have accepted invitations to become Patrons of the MND Association.
Burrow was diagnosed with MND in December 2019 and Sinfield subsequently raised more than £2.7 million after running seven marathons in seven days 12 months later.
Now, the one-time England RL captain wants people to undertake their own 7 in 7 challenge to push the fund beyond £3 million.
“With the end of lockdown in sight I’d love everyone to think about what they can do to fundraise and get behind the 7 in 7 Challenge,” said the 40-year-old, who undertook another marathon just after the Independent went to press.
“It has been a tough year for everyone in the country and it would be great if people can now come up with their own challenge. I got so much out of our 7 in 7 Challenge.
“I would encourage everyone to get together with their mates and family to set their own target and try to help us get over the £3 million barrier.”
Kevin was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in recognition of his fundraising efforts. To support his latest long distance exploit visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sinfield-7-in-7
Patrons are the most high-profile role MND can offer a volunteer in acknowledgment of significant support and commitment.
Existing Patrons include Professor Sir Colin Blakemore, ex England cricketer Chris Broad, actor Benedict Cumberbatch, Baroness Finlay, Charlotte Hawkins, Eddie Redmayne and Jeremy Vine.
MND Association Chief Executive Sally Light said: “Our Board of Trustees was unanimous in the decision to invite Rob and Kevin to join the MND Association as Patrons.
“The strength, courage and friendship shown by both men over the last 18 months has captured the heart of a nation, not just the MND community.
“It has resulted in a huge increase in awareness of motor neurone disease, and vital support for our work.
“It has been a privilege to work with them over the last 18 months and we are very much looking forward to developing that relationship in their new role as Patrons.”
Kevin said: “I would like to thank the Association for inviting Rob and I to become Patrons.
“I have been so touched by the many stories I have heard from within the MND community. And I am committed to continue my support to them for as long as it takes to find a breakthrough.
“For those who knew Rob during his rugby career, he was always an inspiration. But he has taken that to new level to motivate thousands of fundraisers to raise nearly £3 million in his name.
“On behalf of all of them, I would like to say a massive thank you to Rob and his family for the encouragement they give us all.”
Rob said: “It is a huge honour to be invited to become a Patron of the MND Association and I am delighted to accept.
“Personally, I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the countless fundraising activities over the last eighteen months to help raise funds to support the MND community and vital research.”
Listen to Kevin talking about his work with the Association on the first episode of a new podcast – MND Matters. Find out more online: www.mndassociation.org/podcast