Rugby league has deep roots with community with the amateur game being so important to so many individuals but also the professional game having brilliant outreach programmes across their own local areas and a key aspect to this is charity work.
2022 has arguably been one of the best examples for the rugby league family uniting behind charitable campaigns with Kevin Sinfield’s brilliant efforts to raise awareness and ultimately money to fund research for Motor Neurone Disease topping £7 million in donations and culminating in the recognition of both his and former teammate, Rob Burrow’s, battles to raise awareness at the Sports Personality of the Year awards.
One man who Sinfield himself has joined in their own personal challenge is Gary McKee, the so-called Marathon Man, who is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospice at Home West Cumbria, both brilliant cancer charities.
McKee completed 110 marathons in 110 days in 2021 but set himself the challenge of one marathon every single day in 2022, thus 365 in 365, and just days from completion his total stands at £431,906.
As such members of the rugby league community are getting behind him to try see a surge to help him reach the £1,000,000 that he aimed for and Leigh Leopards’ owner Derek Beaumont is the latest to do so.
This is an incredible challenge 365 marathons in 365 days and for a great cause. Let’s help Gary reach his goal of £1m by donating if you can or sharing the page to raise more awareness. Thanks 🙏 https://t.co/N4jms3qkGs
— Derek john beaumont (@derek_beaumont) December 29, 2022
Whilst McKee is not yet halfway to his goal with just three days of running remaining, he’s firstly raised an incredible amount and done an unbelievable job, but secondly as Beaumont alludes to could easily surpass his goal if his story were to receive larger awareness around it.
The Daily Mirror have tried to draw attention to the unbelievable efforts but others in the rugby league community, including Kevin Sinfield have also got involved.
There's a page on the remarkable @Marathon_Man365 Gary McKee in tomorrow's @DailyMirror with words from @garethwalker. That first beer at @WathBrowHornets is going to taste soooooo good pic.twitter.com/qcai6Nmkx7
— Nigel Wiskar (@nigelwis) December 27, 2022
Just days after being announced as Head of Defence for England Rugby Union, Sinfield joined McKee and inspired a spate of donations and this latest appeal from Beaumont could potentially help inspire more funding.
Leeds Rhinos Legend and The New England RU Defence Coach Kevin Sinfield joins Gary McKee!!
— Gary McKee (@Marathon_Man365) December 20, 2022
For more information on Gary’s brilliant efforts there’s a link to his Just Giving page, here.