READY, steady, go!
But rather than it being yet another run, it was the start of something a little different for multi-marathon man Ray Matthews.
Ray, who ran 75 marathons in 75 days to raise money for a specialist playground and woodland trail at Newman School, saw work get underway on the project.
Staff from construction firms Fortem and Eurovia Contracting joined Ray and Rotherham Sitwell Rotary Club as the first sod was cut in the school’s grounds on Monday.
Ray (76), of Maltby, said: “It was an amazing day. It just brought everything together and was the start of my dreams coming true.”
The project will see specialist swings, roundabouts and the trail will be made wheelchair friendly.
Ray raised more than £35,000 of his £75,000 target by completing gruelling runs across Rotherham and in France.
And, after Fortem and Eurovia staff and Rotary Club members agreed to complete the £40,000 woodland trail free of charge, the £75,000 dream will become a reality in just three weeks.
Ray said: “When I first had this idea, I dreamed of this moment and I can see it now - all the children enjoying themselves.
“The woodland path will be complete by August 21 and then the specialist playground will be done by the time the kids return to school in September.
“It’s very exciting and I would like to say a massive thank you to Sitwell Rotary Club, Fortem and Eurovia.
“None of this would have been possible without their help.”
Rotarian Tom Knight said: “The school, Rotherham Borough Council, Eurovia, Fortem and Sitwell Rotary Club are all working as one team to build this project for the children of Newman School and everyone feels privileged to do so.
“We can’t wait to see the results ourselves.”
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