Emma Duchess of Rutland is lacing up her trainers to run the Virgin London Marathon in April for the Belvoir Cricket and Countryside Trust.
The Duchess, who is patron of the charity, first ran the marathon in 2015 for the Trust and Global Action Nepal following the devastating earthquake there.
Her Grace said: “Running it again is a daunting challenge but I am excited, too, because I am passionate about the work of the Belvoir Cricket and Countryside Trust.
“We have been going since 2008 and this year around 3,000 children, including many who are disadvantaged or have special needs, will come out into our countryside and we coach them and give them some wonderful outdoor learning experiences. It is a cause I hold very fondly in my heart.”
With the help of almost 70 volunteers the Trust runs seven Belvoir Bees junior cricket coaching venues, a special needs programme of Kwik and Table Cricket in 15 schools and a Teach Cricket project in 20 schools.
Each summer it hosts Cricket and Countryside Education Days on the Belvoir Estate catering for up to 40 primary and special needs schools where the children play the game and also learn about farming and conservation, meet birds of prey and working dogs and have a go at orienteering and fishing.
Darren Bicknell, the Trust’s chief executive and a former professional cricketer, said: “Our aim is to get children up and active and to help foster a love for the countryside and the opportunities it offers so the youngsters adopt healthy, active lifestyles.
“It’s a very special project and we are delighted the Duchess has once again stepped up to raise funds and awareness so we can reach out and engage with more children year-on-year.”
l To make a donation visit the Duchess’s fundraising page online at http://bit.ly/2j3LtlY and don’t forget to claim Gift Aid.