WHITMINSTER’S fundraising drive for a new pavilion is set to be boosted by more than £20,000 thanks to the remarkable efforts of Ross Wakeley.
The 44-year-old sprung into action when the village club’s aging home was deemed unsafe for use this season, pledging to raise as much money as possible from completing a 100-mile ultra marathon.
And after achieving his first two targets of finishing the gruelling Thames Path 100 from Richmond to Oxford and in a time of less than 24 hours, Ross was overjoyed to also hit a Crowdfunding target of £10,000 – which will now be doubled by Sport England.
The club stalwart said: “I was so happy with my time of 23 hours 32 minutes, conditions were very slippery and I was surprised that I didn’t fall into the river!
“The fundraising was going really well, but on the last day of the Crowdfunder we were still about £3,500 short of the £10,000 target which we had to reach in order for Sport England to match what we had raised.
“People at the club threw everything we had at it, using social media to ask for support, and some really incredibly generous donations came in to help us reach our target.
“We’re so thankful for everyone who has helped, including local cricket clubs who understand the situation we are in and have given us great support.”
Quiz evenings and race nights are now being scheduled to boost the fund for a new home, which Whitminster share with Cotswold Rangers Football Club.
Ross added: “Sport is such a great leveller … I completed the race, beat the time I had set myself and we did brilliantly on the fundraising side of things.
“I was feeling really good on Saturday as I walked out for my first game of the season, opening the batting … only to get a golden duck!”
To support Ross and Whitminster, visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/whitminster-pavilion/