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Moray and Banff referees run up a big fundraising sum for Abbie’s Sparkle Foundation and Friends of The Oaks in 24-hour effort


By Craig Christie

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RUNNING the line took on a different meaning for the local referees who took part in a 24-hour charity challenge.

Harry Bruce on the run.
Harry Bruce on the run.

Whistlers from the Moray and Banff Referees Association, some joined by family members, ran through the night to raise money for Abbie’s Sparkle Foundation and Friends of The Oaks palliative care centre.

Donate to the cause here.

Around 40 runners were separated into half-hour or hour slots beginning at 6pm on Friday night, covering a total distance of 404.1km between them.

Their efforts had raised a £2680 sum by Monday afternoon, with the eventual total being split between the two good causes.

Association president Ally Bruce said: “I am extremely proud of my colleagues and the camaraderie they showed over the 24 hours.

“It was great to see the association pulling together for a good cause, and to raise funds for two local charities who are close to the heart of some of our members.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who played their part and an even bigger thank you to everyone who donated. The total raised was brilliant and we as an association are very grateful.”

Kevin Buchanan enjoys good views at the end of his run.
Kevin Buchanan enjoys good views at the end of his run.

Long-serving ref and association secretary John Black got the ball rolling on Friday night before passing on the virtual baton to the next runner.

Ally’s son Harry, who is co-ordinator of the group’s introductory courses aimed at recruiting new referees, ran more than 11km in his 5am slot and said the association went well beyond their £1000 target.

“There were 40 runners in total which included referees from all over Moray, and some of their partners also got involved to help with the motivation of running in the sun and the early hours.”

Kevin Anderson went the extra mile for charity.
Kevin Anderson went the extra mile for charity.

He said two of the association’s youngest budding referees also took part in the challenge.

“This was helped by one of our new recruits, Cameron Angus, who has just passed his exam on the recent course, who completed a distance of 14.2km in the hour,” he said.

Rory Fraser and Kevin Buchanan both managed to go beyond 13 kilometres in their nominated hour slots in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Paul Hendry did his hour on a treadmill in the middle of the North Sea.
Paul Hendry did his hour on a treadmill in the middle of the North Sea.

“The run also saw our new, youngest recruit in the association, Megan Mackay, take part. She, like Cameron, has also just passed her exam in the new introductory course and was our only female match official completing the run.”

“Whilst all the running was ongoing, Lee Robertson, who is in charge of the social media accounts for the association, remained awake for the majority of the 24 hours.

“He was collecting data from the runners as they finished on the hour and collecting the distances run as well as members’ videos which were seen on our Facebook page.”

Not all of the running refs took part in Moray and Banffshire. Former north junior footballer Paul Hendry did an hour on a treadmill in the north sea in between shifts for his offshore company.

Association vice-president Alan Proctor and his wife Marie Anne clocked up plenty miles in their hour. All photos: Moray and Banff Referees Facebook page.
Association vice-president Alan Proctor and his wife Marie Anne clocked up plenty miles in their hour. All photos: Moray and Banff Referees Facebook page.

When the final runner, Darren Munro completed the challenge at tea time on Saturday, several socially-distanced colleagues congregated at the finish line to give him a round of applause and celebrate the end of the run.


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