Champion boxer plans 30-mile charity walk in full PPE gear
A champion boxer is undertaking a 30-mile marathon walk in full PPE gear to raise vital funds for the NHS.
Tommy Ward wants to “replicate the eight-ten hour or more shifts” key workers are putting in at hospitals during the coronavirus crisis when he completes his solo trek from Stanhope, in the Durham Dales, to his home in West Rainton, near Durham City, this weekend.
The walk has already caught the imagination of sponsors and smashed its initial £1,000 target before he has even taken a step.
Hartlepool-trained Tommy, who has won British and European super-bantamweight titles, said: “I just wanted to give something back to the community because we’d be in some pickle without the work these brave people are doing.
“I have already donated some food to the staff at the hospital in Durham, taking down pizzas for them to cheer them up, and I was thinking if there was anything else I could do.”
Tommy, 25, ranked number three in the world, was in training for an April 4 fight at Newcastle Arena when the coronavirus crisis started.
He added: “When you are a professional boxer, you are training so much that you don’t get the time to give something back to the community.
“So I wanted to use the spare time I have now to help them and this will replicate the eight-ten hour or more shifts they are working in their PPE gear.
“They are going above and beyond to keep us safe.”
An online appeal has already raised £1,300 with the proceeds from the walk on Sunday, May 3, to be shared between the NHS and Durham Area Youth, another cause Tommy has supported since the pandemic outbreak.
Emily Burns, a trustee for the charity, which offers services for youngsters aged eight-18 in West Rainton, Pittington, Sherburn Village, Sherburn Hill and Shadforth, said: “The trustees are so grateful for the support Tommy is giving us. This is a fantastic gesture.”
Tommy, who is trained in Hartlepool by Neil Fannan, can be sponsored online at the “Tommy Ward 30 mile walk” page at www.gofundme.com.