Banbury cricketer’s charity run challenge

A Banbury cricketer who has spent more than 20 years on the pitch plans to complete the equivalent of 20,000 runs in 100 days for charity.

Laura Crofts began her challenge yesterday (Thursday) in Banbury in aid of the charity Jordan’s Weeones, which raises money to offer grants to the parents and families of children diagnosed with cancer to help cover the cost of transport fees, bills and equipment.

Laura Crofts who will be completing 20,000 runs for charity. NNL-190729-162113001

Laura Crofts who will be completing 20,000 runs for charity. NNL-190729-162113001

The charity is in memory of Laura’s step-sister, Jordan, who died at the age of 16 from osteosarcoma (bone cancer). At age 13 she was diagnosed with soft tissue damage from playing sports by her GP when a painful lump appeared on the side of her knee.

Nine months later, when the lump hadn’t healed, she was taken for x-rays and was diagnosed with the condition. She died in April 2014.

Laura, 27, has set up a JustGiving page to raise money and will be completing the challenge with her boyfriend Luke Sharples.

She said: “Keeping a cricket theme I have decided to set myself the challenge of running 20,000 runs (1 run = 22 yards) in 100 days (more runs than I have scored in 20 years of playing cricket, haha!)

Laura Crofts, who is completing 20,000 runs in 100 days for Jordan's Weeones charity. NNL-190730-112918001

Laura Crofts, who is completing 20,000 runs in 100 days for Jordan's Weeones charity. NNL-190730-112918001

“I wanted to pick something that will be a challenge for me personally and anyone that knows me will know how much I hate running!

“I can’t run more than 100 metres without needing a break (and looking like a tomato) so running 20,000 runs is going to be interesting!”

Speaking to the Banbury Guardian, she added: “I’ve played cricket for years. When you are batting, you only run 22 yards and when bowling, it is just a short run so I have always been terrible at running. It’s pretty embarrassing!”

Altogether, Laura, who is women and girls cricket development officer for Oxfordshire Cricket, will be running 250 miles for the charity and plans to use the cricket pitch near Dukes Meadow.

Laura’s interest in cricket started at the age of seven when she watched her stepfather play. She said: “Growing up, it was a good team sport and you get to make good friends and travel around different countries – Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.”