Since the turn of the year, the dream of hundreds of MSG Tours patrons partaking in the tour of a lifetime to South Africa in the summer of 2021, has unfortunately faded. As a member of the team that has worked on the Lions 2021 project, I have personally seen the immense quantity and quality of work that the dedicated staff and partners have invested into realising what would have been MSG’s greatest hour.
My inspiration for embarking on my challenge is the commitment that we made to five South African charities. The prohibition of travelling fans on this year’s Lions tour will have huge ramifications for those who need the tour to go ahead the most – the South Africans. To try and combat this, MSG aim to raise One Million Rand for charities to receive essential funding to continue the amazing work that they do in helping the South African people. Without the footfall of British and Irish fans at this year’s tour, South Africans will not be boosted by the critical economic lifeline that is tourists spending money abroad (£330 million according to a recent Guardian report). We still want to do OUR bit.
My belief is that completing a challenge as ridiculous as running 10 kilometres every day for 173 days, from the 1st February 2021 until the 1st Lions Test Match against the Springboks on the 24th July 2021, will encourage people to support my cause and edge us closer to that One Million Rand mark.
I won’t lie, I’ve been through a fair amount in the past 107 days! From snow to sunshine, falls to near failure, pain to personal bests; the past three and a half months have been mentally and physically testing.
To finish with a flourish, MSG’s founder and managing director, Mark Gardner will run a marathon with me (42.2 kilometres) to tick off the final four days of my challenge. Whilst this may potentially finish me off for good, I believe it to be an appropriate conclusion to the ordeal. I hope by then that we can raise some significant funds for the fantastic five charities supported by the One Million Rand project.
It is only fitting that I complete my challenge with the man behind the charitable project’s mission. Also, I can’t say no to the marathon idea: he is my boss after all!
You can support Sam in his personal mission by making a donation here to the One Million Rand Go Fund Me page. No matter how big or small, each pledge helps us meet our Company’s commitment to making a difference in South Africa: a country that will continually struggle through the pandemic and beyond.