Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield slams the government for not releasing MND funding

Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield completed seven ultramarathons in seven days last week to raise money and awareness in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease after good friend and former teammate Rob Burrow was diagnosed with the illness in December 2019.

Today, he reflected upon that journey speaking to the press:

“It was really tough and a difficult challenge, but when you’re with such wonderful people and meet so many incredible people on the way and they’re so happy to see you, we had an opportunity to provide hope to a community.

“MND isn’t incurable, it’s just been underfunded. To be able to generate the awareness and the funds have made for a wonderful week for all of us.

“I think you all understand what Rob means to us, but it has become much wider than that. The UK came to support us, they have done for the last two but not like that.

“For the MND community to come together and some of them it’s a chance to grieve together.”

His comment that it is “under funded” was picked up and Sinfield was asked if anger drove him through the challenge.

“I wouldn’t say anger,” he said, “I’ve got some disappointment because they have been lost and left for so long.

“Something I think about regularly, this has been a huge part of my life for a couple of years as has spending time with Rob.

“My concern is if that campaign hadn’t started a couple of years ago, where would we be?

“Rob and co have done brilliant work with government to secure £50 million in funding but why hasn’t that funding been handed over yet?

“I understand that with anything like this, there is an element of red tape but then I look at some of the other ways they have spent money and I don’t think they have been scrutinised in the same way this has. That’s what I don’t understand disappoints me because there are people dying and families are being ravaged and being left.

“I can’t see any valid reason why this money is being held back. This is important that this comes across and the scientists work together and we move the dial forward.

“The £50 million is for research and there is nothing in there that helps families and all those other things that people don’t think of.”

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