University of Bedfordshire to Croatia charity run

Cancelled trip is now an NHS fundraiser

The University of Bedfordshire’s Football Team is running the equivalent 2,302 miles to Croatia and back to raise money for the NHS.

The team’s tour to Pula in Croatia was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but they decided to do the trip anyway – by foot.

The team is running the distance from Bedfordshire to Croatia to raise money for NHS Charities Together.

Thirty-eight past and present players have joined in the fundraising efforts and are clocking up the collective miles.

The runners include the current committee members, President Lewis Burgess, Vice President Cory McDade, team captains Kyle Jay, Dom Palmieri and Matt Wheatley, Social Secretary Harry Poole and Treasurer Tom Davies.

Cory McDade, Vice President and current Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy MA student, said:

“A few of the players have family working in the NHS and know first-hand the excellent work they are doing.

“As a committee we thought it would be a great idea try and raise some money, even if it was just £250 (our initial target). But in the first four days, we travelled 534 miles and raised £2,600 for the NHS.

“Each day we continue to be astounded by people’s generosity to donate despite what we’re all going through at the moment.”

Team effort from around the UK

Team members are adding to the total running distance from their homes in all corners of the UK; from Cornwall and Hertford, Milton Keynes and Essex. There is also a core group in Bedford who are running around Priory Park, the embankment and Bedford Park.

Andrew Mitchell, head of school for Sport Science and Physical Activity, said:

“The University of Bedfordshire Men’s Football team is setting a great example with this fundraising event.

“They have turned the disappointment of not being able to go on tour, in these unprecedented times, into a positive project in support of the NHS.

“They are a great group of students and I am very proud of their efforts.”

Every run is logged and the completed distance is taken off the overall goal. The team are aiming to complete the 2,302 miles by mid-May.

Follow their journey on the Instagram account @Bulls_run2croatia.

Donations can be made on the University of Bedfordshire’s Football Club Just Giving page.​

Carl Tappin (ex-player and committee member) and Tom Davies (current treasurer) Image: University of Bedfordshire