Broadcasting legend Steve Rider will lead a team of motorsport celebrities to raise funds for The Steve Rider Sporting Memories Foundation in this year’s Simplyhealth Great North Run which takes place on Sunday 8th September 2019.
Sports presenter Rider, who fronts the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship coverage has signed up alongside fellow presenter and ex-BTCC driver Paul O’Neill who is a Patron of the charity, which is the first in the World to tackle dementia, depression and loneliness through the power of sports reminiscence.
The pair will be joined by around 13 other athletes and runners who will be pounding the roads of Tyneside including leading BTCC competitor Adam Morgan, Louise Turkington who is the wife of reigning BTCC champion Colin, and two young local motorsport stars in the shape of Max Coates from Scorton and Northallerton’s Ethan Hammerton.
Both Max and Ethan will be racing in the Renault Clio Championship for Team HARD this season so it will be interesting to see how their on-track rivalry extends once the running shoes are donned!
The various competitors will be meeting up at Croft Circuit near Darlington over the weekend of June 15/16 when the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship makes its annual visit to the North Yorkshire track.
Last weekend, the opening rounds of the various championships kicked off at Brands Hatch and saw Adam Morgan score a BTCC podium finish in his Mercedes to hold fifth in the early standings whilst Max Coates took a double victory to lead the Renault Clio Cup with Ethan Hammerton holding second in the Graduate Cup going into the next round at Donington Park next weekend.
Co-ordinating the mammoth task is Tony Jameson-Allen from Topcliffe, the co-founder of The Sporting Memories Foundation, who himself is a former motorsport competitor. Tony’s duties have precluded him from entering but he has delegated his wife Amanda, a specialist nurse working with older people in North Yorkshire, into doing her first ever half marathon.
Steve Rider: "I'm looking forward to getting my running shoes out and taking on the Great North Run alongside my team-mates from the wonderful world of sport. The work The Sporting Memories Foundation does in tackling dementia, depression and loneliness is truly inspiring and I'm proud to be representing such a wonderful charity."
Paul O'Neill: "As a Patron of The Sporting Memories Foundation, I'm proud to be taking part with Paul O'Neillso many of the BTCC family on the team. I'm by no means a natural runner, so this will be quite a challenge but I'm looking forward to being involved in such a brilliant event and of course, hopefully raising some much-needed funds too."
Max Coates: “The Sporting Memories Foundation charity is one that really hits home for me, both my Grandparents experienced dementia in their final years so the opportunity to do something for the charity and in their memory is something that makes me proud. Naturally I’m a competitive guy, I’m looking forward to running with my motorsport companions and have a 1hr 34m target that my dad set way back when, so the training has started!”
Ethan Hammerton: "I’m really looking forward to the Great North Run in aid of The Sporting Memories Foundation. I am so pleased to be taking part in the run with some other great people from the BTCC paddock. I’m up for the challenge and can hopefully raise a good amount of money for this worthwhile charity.”
Tony Jameson-Allen: “The support we have received from the world of motorsport, especially from people involved in the BTCC has been truly humbling. Paul is a wonderful Patron and has been very persuasive in coaxing his colleagues, including Steve, into taking on this challenge. I really hope the public will get behind the team and help them to raise some much needed funds so we can continue to support older people across the UK attending our groups free of charge.”
Others raising funds by running the Simplyhealth Great North Run include:
Jack Benyon (International Editor of Autosport and Sporting Memories volunteer)
James Kerr (Hillclimb and Sprint driver)
Andy Couzens (former Leeds United FC footballer)
Gary Jones (former Bradford City FC Captain)
Sam Boatwright (extreme athlete)
James Mason (Trustee of Sporting Memories Foundation, also CEO of Five Nine agency)
Kelly Hart (Sporting Memories Funding Manager)
Steve Sharp (has run past three GNRs for Sporting Memories)
There are Sporting Memories clubs in North Yorkshire and 116 in total across the UK. The club at Northallerton Library meets every Thursday and is run by a dedicated team of volunteers. For further information, please visit: www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com
To make a donation please visit: https://www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com/appeal/great-north-run