The NCTJ’s fitness fundraiser smashed its target by raising more than £5,000 for the specialist Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF) bursary dedicated to the late Thomas Read.
With the help of Fitness Focus gyms in Essex’s Clavering and Thaxted, the NCTJ team and our supporters took on the challenge to travel a combined 500km on November 3 by any means possible – running, walking, cycling, rowing and even canoeing.
With the help of generous gym-goers and industry supporters, including Sky Sports News’ Andy Thompson, the team smashed the initial kilometres target by 11am.
In the end, we clocked up over 1,290km and raised £5,235 for the Thomas Read bursary.
Andy Thompson, senior news editor at Sky Sports News, joined the NCTJ team in Clavering and rowed around 13km as part of the fundraiser.
He said: “I knew Thomas, and I have been on the interview panel for the Thomas Read bursary and there are several beneficiaries of the JDF who work for Sky, so I know what a big difference it makes.”
The bursary is awarded each year to help an aspiring journalist with disabilities or long-term physical or mental health problems fund their NCTJ training.
It was set up in partnership with the family of the late Sky Sports News journalist Thomas Read, who had cerebral palsy and died unexpectedly in 2015, aged 25.
Thomas’ parents Carolyn and Kevin Read came to the event from their home in Cornwall.
Kevin told the NCTJ: “It’s been a really successful day and we’re just grateful to everyone for their commitment and enthusiasm for our bursary, which is now in its eighth year.
“That would never have been possible without the continued support of everyone at the NCTJ and Sky, which offers the invaluable work experience to recipients. Thank you as well to Danny and Vicki at the Fitness Focus gyms.”
Carolyn added: “We are overwhelmed by the support.”
The owner at Fitness Focus in Clavering, Danny Quelch, said: “What an amazing day raising money for the Thomas Read bursary, thoroughly enjoyed by all.”
Vicki Quelch, owner of the Thaxted branch, added: “I’m so proud of everyone who took part. It was such a fun morning and the atmosphere was fantastic.”
The JDF helps people from diverse backgrounds fund their NCTJ training. Click here for more information about the JDF.