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Marathon runners raise HALF A BILLION pounds for charity

11 February 2010

The amount raised for charity by runners in the London Marathon since it began in 1981, is set to top half a billion pounds when the event celebrates its 30th anniversary on 25th April this year.

Runners in last year’s race raised a massive £47.2 million for charitable causes, confirming the London Marathon as the largest annual one-day fundraising event in the world. With a similar total expected from this year’s 36,000 runners, the total raised over 30 years since the first race in 1981 will reach more than £500 million!

“The London Marathon is immensely proud of its record as a charity fund raising event,” said Dave Bedford, London Marathon’s race director. “We provide our runners with an opportunity to raise huge amounts for good causes every year and will be delighted when the total raised for charity reaches half a billion pounds in our 30th year.”

In addition, over the last three decades the London Marathon Charitable Trust has awarded more than £35 million in grants to develop sport and recreation facilities in the capital and other areas in the country where the London Marathon stages events.

This year the Trust has allocated a record £5 million to sports projects across London, its largest annual awards total since the charity was founded in 1981. The awards include total grants of nearly £3.5 million made to 59 projects in 29 London boroughs and two cross-London schemes, ranging in value from £750 for a short mat bowling carpet in Bromley to £250,000 towards a new sports hall in Redbridge.

The Trust allocated a further £1.15 million to its London Marathon Playing Fields reserve from which three quarters of a million has already been earmarked this year to save another London playing field from closure.

Camden Community Football and Sports Association has recently been awarded £700,000 to purchase Chase Lodge Sports Ground from the London Borough of Camden - the sixth set of playing fields to be saved with help from the London Marathon in the last eight years.

The former school playing fields, once Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground, had fallen into disuse and were due to be closed. The Association, a charity set up by Hampstead and Kentish Town football clubs, will buy the neglected 16-acre municipal site to develop a “trophy venue” for north Londoners and full-sized football pitches for Hampstead’s 600 youth players.

Additional plans for the sports ground include a new clubhouse and gym, plus training facilities for youth football, while the deal includes a guarantee that the site will remain playing fields for at least 99 years.

John Disley, chairman of the London Marathon Charitable Trust said: “This opportune purchase of another threatened London playing field shows how vital it is for funds to be instantly available to preserve recreational facilities.

“The London Marathon Charitable Trust has recognised this factor and the trustees have already allocated substantial additional funds to their playing fields account so they will be ready to step in promptly when a seventh suitable playing field comes under threat.”

This year the London Marathon trustees also made grants of £150,000 to each of Enfield Council, to help bring the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium back into use, and Raynes Park High School in Merton to reinstate football and cricket pitches. Another £150,000 was given to replace changing accommodation at Abbey Road Rec in Merton and £125,000 to refurbish children's playgrounds in Richmond Park.

Numerous smaller grants were also made, such as £8,000 for new apparatus at Heathrow Gymnastics Club in Hounslow; £13,000 to create an artificial bowls surface, with access for the disabled, in Southwark Park; £9,000 for an artificial cricket wicket in Bexley; and £65,000 for a climbing wall at Mellish Estate in Greenwich designed to include those who are disabled or have special needs.

More than 850 projects across the capital have benefited from the London Marathon Charitable Trust since 1981. A full list of grants made this year is attached.

For more information contact:
Nicola Okey on 07799 661345; nicolao@london-marathon.co.uk
Natasha Grainger natashag@london-marathon.co.uk

Notes to editors

The London Marathon Charitable Trust
The London Marathon Charitable Trust was created in 1981, the inaugural year of the London Marathon, to meet one of the six objectives detailed by the race founders: ‘To raise money for the provision of recreational facilities to London.’ Since then the objects have been widened to permit grants to be made to projects wherever the London Marathon stages events.

London Marathon Ltd is the operating subsidiary of The London Marathon Charitable Trust. Every year the surplus from the company is gift-aided to the Trust, and the trustees award grants to sport and recreation projects.

The 2010 Virgin London Marathon
The 30th London Marathon is the first race to be sponsored by Virgin. The first Virgin London Marathon takes place on Sunday 25th April. The elite races start at 9.00am for women and 9.45am for men, with the London Marathon wheelchair races beginning at 9.20am and the mass race at 9.45am.

For more details go to www.virginlondonmarathon.com