Didn’t it used to be that sponsorship was requested for a feat so challenging that completion was not a foregone conclusion? The sponsorship money pledged was what spurred the competitor onto success, and it certainly wasn’t handed over until the finish line was crossed.
These days donations are more or less expected and in many cases they aren’t really appreciated all that much. Don’t get me wrong – I wholeheartedly believe in supporting friends, family and colleagues who set out to achieve something very much outside their comfort zone, but it’s a bit rich being asked to stump up twenty quid when your brother is running the Westminster Mile.
A new wave of altruism is sweeping the fitness industry and it allows you to do your bit without prevailing on good-natured colleagues.
LUCKILY, THERE ARE NEW WAYS TO GET YOUR CHARITY KICKS WHILE KEEPING FIT.
- Cut out the middle man and try an initiative like the Good Gym. Good Gym is a community of runners who get fit by doing good. Running routes are planned around helping people, whether it’s visiting isolated older people looking for some company, helping out with a community project like building a community garden or lending a hand at a foodbank. You get a proper running coach to help you towards your fitness goals – whatever they may be – and meet likeminded runners who enjoy a good social scene.
- Want to have a say in the way your gym or pool is run? Get involved with a community leisure enterprise where the members run the facility and fundraise for the upkeep. If you’re frustrated that the leg press at your gym is always broken, maybe it’s time to take ownership of your own workout space.
- If organised activities aren’t your thing and you want to keep fit and give back under your own steam, become an ecosportsman. Whether you’re into running, hiking, biking or triathlons, keep doing what you do but collect litter as you go.
- Animal lovers can sign up as a volunteer dog walker for charities like the PDSA or dogs trust, while the Cinnamon Trust connects you with elderly dog owners who need a little extra help.
- Watch out for new initiatives making their way here from the States, such as energy-generating fitness equipment, and the scheme, Charity Miles, which converts exercise into donations to good causes thanks to corporate sponsors.