Society problems

Leeds Building Society pledges major donation as Kevin Sinfield prepares for epic challenge

Starting tomorrow morning at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, the Leeds Rhinos legend will cover seven ultra-marathons in as many days with the intention of arriving on the pitch at half-time in the men’s Rugby World Cup final at XV at Old Trafford on November 19.

After raising more than £5m for motor neurone disease (MND) research after running seven consecutive marathons in 2020 and 101 miles in less than 24 hours the following year, Sinfield has upped the ante with a 276 mile run that offers little time for rest.

The 42-year-old started raising money for the cause following the diagnosis of his close friend and former Leeds team-mate Rob Burrow, who has the disease.

By Saturday morning Sinfield had already raised over £222,000 towards a target of £777,777, including a large donation from the Leeds Building Society.

“As a long-standing partner of Leeds Rhinos, we at the Leeds Building Society wanted to make a meaningful contribution in recognition of the grueling challenge Kevin will be undertaking this weekend,” said CEO Richard Fearon.

“We have sponsored the Rhinos for 16 years – during which time Kev and Rob both played for the first team – and so Rob’s fight against motor neuron disease is a cause close to our hearts.

“To support fundraising efforts, we have decided to donate £100 for every mile of the ultramarathon, which is £27,600. Good luck, Kevin! »

Kevin Sinfield before a media engagement at The Football Hotel, Manchester to preview his latest challenge. (Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

Funds raised through the challenge will be shared between five causes: The MND Association, MND Scotland, the Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal to build the Rob Burrow Center for MND in Leeds, the Darby Rimmer Foundation and My Name’5 Doddie .

“On behalf of everyone affected by MND, I would like to say a big thank you to the Leeds Building Society for this amazing gesture,” Sinfield said.

“I know that every penny will go to make a huge difference for people with the disease, but also, just as importantly, to help the vital research that is underway to halt the effects of the disease and eventually find a cure. .

“I personally want to thank Richard, all the staff at Leeds Building Society and their customers for their support, it will mean so much during the difficult hours on the road that I’m sure he’s waiting for me and the Ultra 7 in 7 team.”

Kevin Sinfield, right, with Rob Burrow after completing his 101-mile Extra Mile Challenge in under 24 hours. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/

Sinfield is ready to ditch his running shoes, but he refused to rule out other fundraising exploits.

“There’s probably still a little glint in my eye,” he added.

“The problem is finding something that is more challenging and challenging every year, and I realize there are so many worthy charities out there that I don’t want people to get fed up with.

“I will still try to fundraise and raise awareness, but maybe I’ll do it less publicly and look to give my knees a break.”

Kevin Sinfield during his final 7-in-7 marathon challenge around Saddleworth in aid of Rob Burrow and in support of MNDA in December 2020. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

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