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‘Nine lives’ team in epic challenge to help those who helped them in toughest times

Nine people whose lives have been touched by the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) are covering 560 miles in nine days to raise money for the charity.

The “9 Lives Challenge”is the brainchild of IJF beneficiary Wayne Burton, who sustained a life-changing injury in a racing fall 12 years ago.

Each of the nine participants (see below for details) has been paired with an IJF representative, including the charity’s president, patrons and trustees, who will match a similar number of miles.

“I sustained a life-changing injury in 2008, breaking my back in a hurdle race at Exeter racecourse,” said Wayne.

“I have no idea where I would be right now without the support from the IJF. I came up with an idea to give other beneficiaries a challenge while the world is very upside down.

“Myself and other beneficiaries will be challenging ourselves to train to do as many miles as we possibly can to complete the mileage it would take to travel from Oaksey House to Peter O’Sullevan House, to Jack Berry House and back to Oaksey House, which is around 560 miles in total.

“We will be doing this challenge in different forms – walking, pushing a wheelchair, cycling, running and swimming.”

Gavin Egan, one of the IJF’s rehabilitation therapists, is acting as team coach, the almoners for each of the nine will also be involved and IJF trustee and beneficiary George Baker has an active role in organising the challenge.

The public can follow their progress via the IJF’s social media and daily video blogs.

Rebecca Hewitt, who is aiming to push a wheelchair for 19 miles, said the support the IJF has given her since her accident in a 1995 hunter chase has been “immeasurable”.

“During lockdown I have been unable to go to the gym or go rowing, physical activity I really enjoy,” she said.

“I find it hard to motivate myself to work out on my own so this is a good opportunity to get out and about and push myself.

“[The charity’s] input has greatly enhanced the quality of my life and enabled me to lead a fulfilling one. I’m not sure how I would have coped without the IJF.”

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IJF president Sir Anthony McCoy added: “This is a brilliant idea of Wayne’s and to cover 560 miles in total in lots of different ways is a real challenge for the beneficiaries.

“I hope people donate as this will inspire them to keep going and I shall be cheering them on every day and be getting out there too to help them achieve their mileage target.”

Click here to find out more about the nine and to donate

IJF nine lives challenge

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