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Fundraising and the power of sport

Deborah Powell of Run4Wales explains the special relationship between keeping active and fundraising. 


Sports fundraising challenge events offer some of the most fun ways to mobilise supporters, raise money, keep fit and have a blast while doing good.

Cardiff Half Marathon, for example, is the single biggest fundraising event in Wales and sits within the UK’s Top 10 events for best sports fundraising. 

From its inception, over 15 years ago, it combines the best elements of an elite race with that of a mass participation event; attracting the strongest athletes from around the world running alongside recreational runners and those who are attempting their first competitive half marathon. This ‘running in the footsteps of champions’ is what makes the unique atmosphere of a successful challenge event and one that truly inspires the fundraising effort at the Cardiff Half.

Cardiff Half Marathon raised over £3m for charity last year. 


Over 25% of our runners take the opportunity to commemorate their achievement by fundraising for a good cause. That means we have partnerships with over 90 charities for this single event: ranging from those sitting in the UK’s top 10 such as NSPCC, through to a local cancer charity, such as Velindre.

In fact, 95% of all pages set up on dedicated fundraising platforms - such as Just Giving and Virgin Money Giving - are linked to sporting events - walking, cycling, swimming, even skydiving! Running challenge events are the most popular and see average funds of £400 per runner. 

Another attraction for charities, is the ongoing ability to tell their stories at sports events; reaching audiences that may otherwise remain unaware of their cause. Charity partners appreciate having the unique opportunity to celebrate face-to-face with their supporters at challenge events too.

With thousands of fundraising challenge events across the UK being cancelled due to Covid-19, it has had a devastating impact on charities ability to leverage these relationships and to generate fundraising income to support their operations. With an inability to hold cash reserves too, this means many charities will face closure. 

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimates that the UK charity sector will ultimately lose £4 billion in income as a result of this pandemic.

And this is why Run4Wales, alongside organisers of the biggest mass-participation sports events across the country, have come together to create the 2.6 campaign to raise vital funds to help plug the funding gap and to help save the UK’s charities. It is a perfect combination to keep active (or challenge yourself in any way) and do something to help others. 

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