Our Fundraisers #TeamYST

We are blown away by the generous support and commitment of our wonderful fundraisers who have dedicated their time and hard work on behalf of our charity. With your support, we can achieve more together. Take a look at some of the fantastic fundraising stories below.



Picture of Aspire challenge bike riders

Aspire Multi Academy Trust

The Aspire Connect 40 Relay Challenge was a trust-wide, team-focussed feat of endurance that took place in March 2024 aid of Comic Relief Red Nose Day and Youth Sport Trust.

Circumnavigating the whole of Cornwall; 36 Aspire academies, two outdoor education centres (Carlyon Bay and Carnyorth) and two central core service buildings (Truro & St Austell) were connected via a non-competitive relay route using only physical activity as the mode of travel. Whether walking, running, cycling, rowing, or swimming, physical exertion was key and anything involving an engine strictly off limits! 

As each Aspire setting connected with another, a special baton containing a live tracker was officially handed over to the next active participant.  Staff, children, family and friends were able to ‘track’ the progress of the baton from the classroom or office from a web link, provided by Geotracks Live. This event wasn't just for the grown-ups. Aspire pupils were also actively involved, fundraising for the two nominated charities through physical school-led activities either on the day the baton arrived on their doorstep, or on Red Nose Day itself.

The event was the brainchild of James Ross (Rossi) and was extremely unifying for the whole MAT who were able to feel the powerful connection of belonging and pulling together for a common purpose.

Martin Cresswell

In 2023 Martin Cresswell completed an epic Alps Hike in support of Youth Sport Trust raising over £3500!

Here is what he said before the challenge:

"Growing up in an area of poverty in East London I experienced the power and life benefits that could be gained from participating in sports.

"Sport continues to be a big part of my life, and now as a cancer sufferer I want to make a more meaningful contribution to the future of our young people.

"That's why I am walking the Grand Traverse des Alps (GR5) from Lake Genève to Nice - 400 miles and a climb 3.6 time the size of Everest - gulp!

"I'm doing this to raise as much money as I can to provide children with the opportunity to participate in sports so that they can learn about life, about being part of a team, about winning and losing."


Martin during his challenge



Pete Thorpe

A member of the Inspire Together team, Pete, a 41 year old father, reflected on the changing dynamics of his life. Balancing the responsibilities of parenthood and work in sports development had left limited time for self-care. However, the desire to push personal limits and rediscover the resilience within led him to embrace a challenge he hadn't tackled in years.

Pete said of the decision to take part in the Leicestershire Running Festival: " I love the work the Youth Sport Trust do and we deliver a number of their programmes as part of our work across the Leicester City."

"My running partner has been my dog Ruby. She has kept me training regularly and is never less than 100% committed to a run, unlike me sometimes!"

Jen Gadsby

Jen, a 27-year-old sports enthusiast and avid tennis player, recently ran the Leicestershire Running Festival 10K to help raise funds for the Youth Sport Trust. Jen works at Inspire Together, where she is a Health and Wellbeing and Female Engagement Officer.

Inspire Together is a School Sports Partnership that operates within the Leicester City community, and its mission is to promote health and wellbeing. Through the work with Inspire Together, which uses various programmes developed by the Youth Sport Trust, Jen was inspired to support Youth Sport Trust through fundraising efforts.

Alongside a group of five other individuals with varying levels of running experience, Jen decided to take on the challenge of the Leicestershire Running Festival 10K to test their limits.

The race, which took place at Prestwold Hall, left them with a shared sense of accomplishment and an eagerness to conquer more running challenges in the future.



Sophie Kennedy

Sophie Kennedy

On 03 June 2023 Sophie Kennedy ran a 106 mile ultramarathon along the Millennium Way walking path for Youth Sport Trust

It wasn’t an official event so she also had to navigate to ensure she stuck to the route and carry enough water and food to keep her going. Her partner supported her at pit stops along the route in his van whilst her mum and partner looked after their 3 year old.

Some amazing friends and family also came out to cheer and run sections with Sophie which gave her such a boost! Two of them even ran during the night in the dark.

Sophie said: “As a Personal Trainer I see the profound impact physical activity has on people's overall quality of life. It concerns me that kids are on the whole less active than they used to be and missing out on the huge benefits of taking part in sport. This is not just physical health but self confidence, resilience, social skills, and a sense of belonging.

"I am so grateful that I enjoyed sport as a kid as it has got me through some of the hardest times as a young adult and continues to be my main outlet to keep my mental health in check.

"Life isn't meant to be easy, but what we can do is equip the next generation to feel their own strength and have an outlet for their emotions so that they can handle life's challenges.

"If there was a pill that could give everyone as many benefits that physical activity and sport gives us we'd all be taking it! Movement is medicine."

Claire Florence-Westwood

I have always been a keen runner, but over the last few years I haven’t had much motivation. I wanted to set myself a challenge to allow me to refocus so I signed up to run the London Marathon for Youth Sport Trust.

I actually ran the London Mini Marathon in 2006 and 2007 and the slogan on the t-shirt was “You see 2.6 miles, I see 26.2 miles”. In completing the London Marathon I also completed the challenge I set myself all those years ago! Something ticked off my bucket list!

I chose to run for Youth Sport Trust as I want to give back to the charity that I benefited from as a young person and to support the programmes that engage and empowers other young people.

When I was at high school, I was a Young Ambassador with the Youth Sport Trust with the main aim to motivate and inspire other young people to participate in sport, through volunteering and promoting sports around the school. Through the programme I learned skills and built strong relationships which make me who I am today! I think this shows the power of the programmes and the impact it has on young people.

Fast forward to today, hopefully by completing the London Marathon, I can inspire others to get active.



Claire at London Bridge

Patrick’s Project 52

Paddy is a children’s physiotherapist who is passionate about increasing children’s involvement in sport and physical activity.

Throughout the 2022 Patrick completed 52 events in 52 weeks. His events ranged from parkruns to ultramarathons, sprint triathlons to adventure trips and many other endurance based events.

You can donate and find out more here.

Ben Major

Ben was the Festival of Sport ambassador for 2021. He set himself the challenge to run and cycle 215.7 km in 15 weeks - the distance from his home to Holkham Hall, the venue for the Festival of Sport, to raise as much money as possible for the event's amazing charity partners, including the Youth Sport Trust. During the challenge Ben dressed in 10 different sports kits to celebrate the many different sports on offer to try at the festival.

Ben’s top tips for fundraising are:

  • Ask for support from your school - Ben has spoken in his school assembly and featured in its newsletter to raise awareness of his challenge and fundraising
  • Look for messages of support that will keep you going when you feel tired
  • Enjoy the challenge of what you are doing and stay positive at all times.