Over 14,000 to take part in run to raise money for coaches

Over Rs. 14 lakh has been donated by the participants and the money will be handed over to Gopichand’s Badminton Academy, Ashwini’s Sports Foundation and Malathi Holla’s Mathru Foundation.

“The ongoing crisis has really hit the coaches and the sports support teams hard. I would like to thank all the participants of ‘Run to the Moon’ who have contributed towards this cause,” Gopichand said.   -  AP

As many as 14,000 runners from across 15 countries will be lining up to take part in a nearly month-long initiative to raise funds for coaches and support staff in various sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers of the event said on Thursday.

Championed by celebrated national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, and Arjuna Awardees Ashwini Nachappa and Malathi Holla, ‘Run to the Moon’ will conclude on July 21 to coincide with the 51st anniversary of man’s first landing on the moon.

Running almost simultaneously in different parts of the world, the participants will jointly aim to cover 3,84,400 kilometres, the distance between the earth and the moon, by the big day.

“The ongoing crisis has really hit the coaches and the sports support teams hard. I would like to thank all the participants of ‘Run to the Moon’ who have contributed towards this cause,” Gopichand, a Dronacharya Awardee, said.

“Run to the Moon is a great positive initiative during these times and I would like to encourage all the participants to keep running during these 30 days and stay fit and active.”

The registered participants can run anywhere they choose. They don’t need to run every day but over the one month period, they need to clock a minimum of 65 kilometres for their entries to be valid.

For their distance to be eligible on a particular day, a runner has to log a minimum of 2.5 kilometres and a maximum of 10 kilometres on that day.

READ| Gopichand: Coaches, support staff financially hit during lockdown

Registrations have been received from over 945 cities in India with Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi contributing the maximum number of participants, the organisers, IDBI Federal Life Insurance and NEB Sports, said.

The daily distance run will be tracked through the live dashboard on the NEB Sports website.

The youngest participant is Rishon Fernandes, a 10-year-old from Mumbai and the oldest is G Lakshman, an 87-year-old from Bangalore, the release claimed.

Multiple entries have come from countries across the globe including Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Bahrain, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, The Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh and Iran.

A number of corporates too have fielded their runners, including BFIL, IndusInd Bank Ltd., CISCO Systems India Pvt Ltd, Tata Consultancy Services Limited, Infosys, TESCO, Indian Navy, Armed Forces Medical College, to name a few.

Over Rs. 14 lakh has been donated by the participants and the money that has been collected will be handed over to Gopichand’s Badminton Academy, Ashwini’s Sports Foundation and Malathi Holla’s Mathru Foundation.

They will identify coaches and sports support staff that require urgent financial help.