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UK sports relief 2014: the rise of the mega fundraising challenge for the ‘older’ celebrity

by on March 21, 2014

Today is Sport Relief; a hugely popular and worthwhile fundraising initiative which “brings the entire nation together to get active, have fun and raise life-changing cash” funding and supporting charities working across all ages.  My 16yr old son has gone to school in ‘eighties workout gear’ to raise money along with many other participating in similar events across the country.

Each year, Sport Relief heralds a range of celebrity challenges including what has become a series of ‘mega challenges’.  A key characteristic of these challenges seems to be the unlikely selection of the celebrity.  Thus we have seen Eddie Izzard become the marathon man  even though he was, according to the BBC, “a 47-year-old with no previous aspiration to emulate Paula Radcliffe”; David Walliams (pictured in the Telegraph) swam the Thames at 40, and John Bishop who went through a “week of hell” at 45.  A key factor in the fascination here seems to be that on these individuals are generally considered slightly too old (and possibly a tad too unfit) to have undertaken these challenges.  This year it was the turn of Davina McCall who is introduced in many articles as a 46 yr old mum of three.  It is interesting that unlike previous celebrities on these mega-challenges Davina has a range of fitness DVD’s and is generally considered super-fit, thus the press seem to have played more on her age, motherhood and gender in relation to the incredible physical feat that she went through.  Nevertheless, it seems to be a very positive move for sport relief to show individuals of these ages undertaking these sorts of tasks and challenging the assumption that sport is a young persons game.

Details about fundraising for sport relief 2014 and how to support their charitable causes can be found on their website.



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