Over half the money raised from Kevin Sinfield’s incredible ‘7 in 7’ marathon challenge will be used to provide direct support to families affected by motor neurone disease, the MND Association has said.
The Leeds director of rugby completed the challenge last December and raised £2.2million for the charity, after his former team-mate Rob Burrow was diagnosed with the life-limiting condition the previous year.
The charity has now announced that £1.25m of the funds raised will be directed to frontline support services, including support for children and families as well as funding for care centres and a support hotline.
A further £655,000 will go towards further research to better understand and treat MND. The MND Association had already committed £3million to research this year and Sinfield’s efforts in raising awareness has enabled it to invest a further £2m.
The final £300,000 of the money raised by Sinfield will go to local support services in the north of England, the MND Association said.
Sinfield said: “The MND Association has been absolutely wonderful; the support, the knowledge, being able to educate myself and really help us put a plan together.
“You can go into this blind, there’s all that money and, in effect, we were happy to hand it over and say, ‘You spend it where it’s needed’.
“But I think it’s really important that we understood it and then ultimately Rob and his family were part of the journey too. It was really important we got them to be happy with it as well because they’ve lived it, they understand it and if there was anything we’d missed or there were any holes in it I wanted us to make sure that we’re covered off.”
Sinfield embarked on the ‘7 in 7′ challenge – chosen after the number seven shirt Burrow wore – with the initial intention of raising £77,777, but far exceeded that.
Burrow greeted Sinfield at the finish line of the fifth marathon at the Rhinos’ base at Headingley.
Burrow was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List last December in recognition of his work to raise awareness of MND during the coronavirus pandemic.