Fundraisers walk, run and roll in month-long charity challenge

Cristhian Molina took on the Steptember challenge in Colombia for the Rooprai Spinal Trust.

Cristhian Molina took on the Steptember challenge in Colombia for the Rooprai Spinal Trust. - Credit: RST

Runners, walkers and wheelchair users across the globe spent a month taking on a gruelling challenge to raise vital funds for a Royston-based charity - and the total raised is now in. 

More than 270 participants recorded their daily steps and distance covered as part of the ‘Steptember’ challenge for the Rooprai Spinal Trust.

The event was designed to enable participants of all physical capability to take part. Steps were tracked, if walking, and, for those competing in a wheelchair, distance-covered was tracked through a ‘levelling’ system.

RST raises funds and awareness for those affected by spinal cord injury - providing world-class, life changing physiotherapy. It was founded by Marrianne Rooprai - who was left paralysed from the shoulders down after being involved in a car accident in 2004 - and Andrew Uttridge.

Marrianne Rooprai from Royston has been included in a list of the most influential people with disabilities in the UK.

Marrianne Rooprai from Royston has been included in a list of the most influential people with disabilities in the UK. Picture: Rooprai Spinal Trust - Credit: Archant

Andrew said: “We’re delighted by the overwhelming support and participation from people from all backgrounds, and physical ability levels.


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“A huge thank you to Eric Keeler from Rasselbock Running for organising this wonderful event. Events such as ‘Steptember’ make helping others’ lives much easier. No matter how large or small the donation, recognition or support, it’s incredibly significant to those needing that extra support.

“The pandemic has created difficulty for all local charities, but we’ve done what we do best – adapt. It’s more important than ever to show support for small charities in whatever way you can.”

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More than £4,000 was raised from Steptember, which will go towards supporting the charity's physiotherapy scholarship programme. This helps those affected by spinal cord injury access the physical and mental support needed.

Participants around the world included Cristhian Molina in Colombia. But it was Royston's Adam Holland who finished top of the table with more than one million steps.

Ex-elite runner Drew Graham - a high-level tetraplegic from Newcastle - finished runner-up, achieving the equivalent of 1.1 million steps through an independently operated Skierg rowing machine. 

Charity founder Marrianne said: "To know there were people out there running, walking and rolling for our charity was enormously heart-warming and inspiring.”

For more on the RST, see www.rstrust.com  

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