Finishing line in sight for Toby at end of 718km charity run
SCHOOLBOY fundraiser Toby Fletcher is finally finishing a whopping 718 kilometre charity run.
And the 11-year-old, who has already raised a massive £18,000 for St Peter's Hospice, is calling on supporters to help the final total top £20,000.
It all started last year when the Toby, a pupil at Winterbourne Academy, set himself a target of raising £6,000 for St Peter’s Hospice, where staff cared for his much loved grandmother, June, until her death in February 2020.
Known as Nanny Ju by her grandchildren, June shared Toby’s love of rugby, and used to take him to watch Bristol Bears. So in her honour Toby pledged to run 1km for each point the team conceded last season.
But he never realised the scale of the task he had set himself. The previous season the Bears had topped the table and let in 379 points, but in the season just ended they were fourth bottom and conceded 718!
The Frampton Cotterell Under-12s rugby player had just 16km left to complete his challenge as the Voice went to print.
He said: "Some of the running has been fun but some has been really difficult.
"The hard weeks were when I had to run 52km. The really rainy weather and the storms were hard. I have also found the really hot weather difficult too.”
The Bears supported his efforts – Toby has met the team, seen them training and was cheered when he ran out onto the Ashton Gate pitch at half time at the last home game.
His mum Claire says Toby's success has come through all the support of local people and family, sponsoring his huge run.
Toby said: “My friends think what I am doing is really good. The Bristol Bears fans and other club fans think I'm a hero and lots follow me on social media which is nice."
Toby is planning to run his final kilometre on July 5, from St Peter’s Hospice to the Bristol Bears’ home ground at Ashton Gate, and he will also be doing a "lap of honour" at an event in Coalpit Heath on July 9.
Then it will be time to rest his weary legs.
Toby said: "I am resting for the summer as it’s been so difficult – I do lots of other sports so will still be very active.
"I'm looking forward to watching Bristol Bears next season without worrying about the score. They will probably be amazing next season and concede very few points!”
To donate to Toby's appeal online visit justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-fletcher22.