By Micheal McKenna
THOUSANDS rose to the Manchester Sport Relief mile challenge on Sunday with the Coronation Street set part of the route for the very first time.
Olympic gold medallist Darren Campbell and Corrie’s very own Anthony Cotton (Sean Tully) helped kick the event off.
Anthony said: “It was a massive incentive that this year’s Manchester mile is going through the Coronation Street set but the people are so focused on the run itself, by the time they get to the set they are not even aware where they are.
“It’s nice of Coronation Street to have donated our set. The people that weren’t doing the serious run could have a nosy about and see what it’s really like” he added.
Taking part as a community while having fun is the real aim of what Sport Relief is all about and certainly what Anthony is all about.
“I think I’m going to cancan my way around. I’m not doing it for time. I shall do a bit of running, skipping, some cancan but the majority of it will be walked.
“There are a lot of activities going on like the hula-hoop. I should have been in that because that would have been more my level”.
Sport Relief weekend across the UK rose in excess £31,000,000, the best total since its inauguration back in 2002.
From tots to grandparents, the whole community contributed towards raising money for various projects across the UK and beyond.
Anthony said: “This is such an important cause. The money goes towards giving young people that sense of belonging. People want to feel like they belong to something. It’s beautiful charity that does a lot of amazing work.
“Friendship is a major part of this charity’s work and that’s something I will always want to be a part of.”
Anthony had his first experience last year with comic relief when he read a new Mr. Men book to children in different bookshops.
He said: “They do thoughtful things like that and it’s not all about lying in a bath tub full of beans all day.”
British Olympian, Darren Campbell was also an ambassador for the Manchester mile but because of an Achilles injury was unable to take part.
However, that did not stop him from making the journey from his South Wales home.
He said: “I have travelled to Manchester just to be a part of it all because it brings out that community spirit. Sporting rivalries are put aside for a day, people come together. To be able to take part in something that helps people is a great thing.”
Nevertheless, Darren still harbours some hope of participating in the United Relief Live event on May 1. This is an event whereby ex-players and celebrity supporters play against each other when a Manchester United XI take on the Sport Relief Rivals in a star studded football match. The match will be preceded by a live concert.
He said: “It’ll be a great day. I’ve just started rehab and I will make every effort to at least spend 10 minutes on that great pitch.”
The money raised will go towards the Manchester United foundation and Sport Relief. Visit www.sportrelief.com or www.manutd.com for information.