Tackling dementia, depression and loneliness through the power of sport

Keeping it in the family! Mother and Son pair up to take on the Great North Run


A number of brilliant individuals are taking on the Great North Run in September to raise awareness and money for us here at Sporting Memories. Two of those people that have agreed to run the half-marathon for us are mother and son duo Jane Radcliffe and Mark Davies!

The family connection for the run came about following a conversation between Jane and her good friend Susie Brindley, who is our Partnerships Director.

“Susie and I and were at a barbeque last summer when she mentioned that the charity had a few places left for the Great North Run. During lockdown I had been doing the Couch to 5k programme and I had started to feel fitter. To be brutally frank, after a few drinks at the barbeque I said I would do it this year instead and now we’ve got to that time. I’m not a natural runner and my aim is to just to complete the run quite honestly!”

Even though Jane’s involvement in the Great North Run may have blossomed to life through a social event, she knew that our impact on older people was a very worthy reason to dust off the running shoes.

“I know a fair bit about the charity through my discussions with Susie and in my working life as a trade union solicitor where I’ve tried to connect the charity through to trade unions – but I must say from what I’ve seen and heard it is a wonderful charity.

“I also believe as people get older it is those cherished memories that stay with them, some people can’t remember to put their socks on, but they’ll remember who scored in a cup final – and if that can be a starting point to improving their lives now and into the future then that is wonderful.”

After finding out that his mum was taking part in the Great North Run and finding out more about the charity, Mark decided to take on the half-marathon as well.

“I was so impressed to hear that my mum was taking part in the Great North Run, I wanted to sign up too and support her. As someone who hasn’t done any competitive running for over five years, my biggest worry is that my mum will finish before me! I have been training hard over the past few months and I’m very excited to be taking part and raising money for this amazing charity.”

Despite agreeing to run for us in 2021, Jane is still determined with the support of Mark that they will conquer the half-marathon together and raise awareness and valuable funds for our clubs.

“We had this agreement where we said we would take on the run together and that was about over a year ago. At that point you think ‘yeah, sure that’s never going to come along’ but we’ve now reached that point and the realisation hits that you must get training and run a bit – I’m absolutely certain that I’ll find it tough, but it will be worth it!

“Mark’s quite sporty whereas I’m not, so he said to me ‘what’s your goal?’ and I said just to make it to end - whereas he said he wanted to do it in a certain time – so he may well leave me behind at some point!

“I think part of us doing it is that he just wants a lift to Newcastle to take part! All jokes aside I think it’s great that we’re doing it together and for the same charity as well.”

To support Jane and Mark's fundraising efforts, visit their JustGiving page by clicking here

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Our impact

Reducing Isolation

Bringing older people together to reduce isolation and loneliness

Mental Wellbeing

Supporting older people to improve their mental wellbeing

Physical Wellbeing

Getting older people active to live healthier lifestyles

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