New Family Fun Run to remember Rhys Jones
7 years ago
A new family fun run at Croxteth Park in memory of Liverpool youngster Rhys Jones has been announced.
Run For Rhys takes place for the very first time in four weeks on Sunday 27 August – which is just days after the 10th anniversary of the youngsters’ tragic death.
Everton fan Rhys Jones was aged just 11-years-old when his life was devastatingly cut short on 22 August 2007. Rhys was shot walking home from football training in Croxteth after innocently being caught in the cross-fire between two rival gangs.
The Jones family’s heartbreaking story has recently been back in the spotlight through the ITV drama series, Little Boy Blue.
The team behind the Rhys Jones Community Centre CIC in Croxteth feel the time is now right to stage a legacy fun run to celebrate the Rhys’ life while also raising much-needed funds to develop and continue the centre’s work. The event has the support of the Rhys Jones family.
Run For Rhys can choose from three distances covering 5K, 3K or 1 mile, with the first fun run starting at 10am. There is no lower age restriction to encourage families to take part.
Since the centre first opened in August 2013, it has firmly established itself as a community hub and its main focus is to raise aspirations, give hope and strengthen community unity in Croxteth. The centre was relaunched in May as a social enterprise, with the team hiring out its football pitches, multi-use hall and meeting rooms to raise funds to keep the doors open so it can continue to deliver its community projects.
Ongoing programmes include youth work, music and literacy workshops, and holiday activities. The centre does not receive any funding support from Liverpool City Council.
The management board and directors of the Rhys Jones Community Centre CIC are working with Merseyside’s leading independent race event organiser BTR Liverpool to organise and deliver the fun run day.
Karen Harper, a director of the Rhys Jones Community Centre CIC, commented:
“Next month August marks a decade since the tragic loss of Rhys. The recent TV drama Little Boy Blue has reignited the memory of Rhys in everyone’s minds, so we feel the time is right to organise a legacy event in Rhys’ name as a positive way to celebrate his life.
“Rhys was a bright, caring young boy, who had a fantastic future ahead of him which was so cruelly taken away. But with the help and support of BTR and the Merseyside community, we are committed to bringing an aspirational initiative to the Croxteth community who supported Rhys’ parents Melanie and Stephen, and his older brother Owen in their darkest hours.
“We are inviting the community to be part of this very special day by taking part in the fun runs. Rhys would have loved this idea as he was very sporty, so it will be a very special tribute to his memory.”
Fun run registration fees pay to stage and deliver all aspects of the event. Participants are encouraged to fundraise for the Rhys Jones Community Centre CIC to support its important work and community initiatives.
Sponsor forms are available, or donations can be made direct to the centre’s Go Fund Me page at https://www.gofundme.com/run-for-rhys-5k-legacy-event
Run For Rhys will be held in the grounds of Croxteth Country Hall and Park, with the start and finish line area being outside the main hall, with family activities taking place in the grounds.
Everyone taking part in the 5K, 3K or 1 mile will receive a specially designed technical running T-shirt, which can be collected beforehand so it can be worn for the run. All finishers will also receive a commemorative medal.
The 1 mile fun run will start at 10am, followed by the 3K at 11am, with the 5K setting off at midday.
Registration is £16 for the 5K; £14 for the 3K; and £12 for the 1 mile.
Full details and online registration can be found at www.btrliverpool.com
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