Parkrun challenge inspirational

Young runner George Bryant-Nichols has completed an epic parkrun challenge.

George Bryant-Nichols with his cheque at Chestnut Tree House
George Bryant-Nichols with his cheque at Chestnut Tree House

The 12-year-old, of St Mary’s Close, Littlehampton, wanted to raise money for Chestnut Tree House and set himself a target of £500 from 50 parkruns.

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He smashed his target in just nine months and visited the children’s hospice in Poling on Wednesday to present a cheque for £735.

George beating his personal best in the spring

Caroline Roberts-Quigley, community fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House, said: “It’s inspiring to see someone so young really engage with us as a charity and want to help, both in terms of raising funds and helping out at events.”

George, a year-eight pupil at Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School, takes part in the Bognor Regis 5km parkrun at Hotham Park every Saturday but the challenge he set himself just after Christmas went beyond this weekly run.

In the past ten months, he has also completed the children’s 3km race at Worthing Half Marathon and the RunWisborough 5km, as well as helping out at a number of fundraising events with his sister Millie, including handing out medals at the Littlehampton 10k in September, being part of the official cheer squad at the Worthing 10k in May and helping out with refreshments at the charity’s 100km Sussex bike ride last year.

George said: “I really want to raise as much money as possible for Chestnut Tree House because it is an amazing charity that looks after children with life-shortening conditions and their families.

“They get very little funding from central government, so I know that any donations and support are appreciated.

“I love running and hope to continue taking part in more runs for Chestnut Tree House as I get older. I’m so pleased that I’ve exceeded my £500 target by raising £735 for this 50 parkruns challenge.”

George’s mum, Lyn Bryant-Nichols, joined him on the runs and said he loves it, often racing on ahead and leaving her behind.

She added: “This isn’t the first time George has run for Chestnut Tree House. When he was nine, he raised £80 by asking friends and family to sponsor him running three laps round Broadwater Green. Then last year, he raised £93 by running the Worthing Mini Mile.

“George learned about the work of Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice at school and it has been a charity that is close to his heart ever since. He really enjoyed visiting the house last week.”