Sport is a great way to deal with a harsh situation, and Nathan knows it well. This ex-soldier, 28, originally from Rochdale, will do something never done before: He plogging to all EFL grounds.
Nathan Richardson will run to all English Football League grounds for 6 months
He will run to all the English Football League stadiums. And he will pick litter he finds along the way. This is he plogging to all EFL grounds.
«A lot of of the mental health side and picking litter is therapeutic with tidying up. So, some people if they feeling a bit of anxious, or nervous, or depress; they clean house. So it is the same sort of thing outside».
The distance will be between 2,000-2,500 miles (3.218-4.023 km), with an average of 50-100 miles (80-160 km) a week.
He will raise money for two charities; Minds and The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity – also known as ‘SuperJosh’.
The former aims to help people struggling with mental health issues and the latter helps children and their families who have brain tumours and post-surgery disabilities.
Dawn Fidler, CEO of The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We are so proud of Nathan for this amazing challenge. We think he’s bonkers, but it’s incredible that he has chosen to raise money for SuperJosh and help families of those with brain tumours.
“We look forward to supporting him and sending him on his way on Saturday, as well as following his journey, and would like to encourage people to visit his donation page.”
In addition, Nathan also wants to do his bit to help the environment doing ‘plogging’ along the way.
Plogging is picking litter while you jogging.
This term comes from Jogging plus the Swedish word ‘Plocka upp’ (In English pick up).
He expects to raise £9,200; £100 per each of the 92 grounds registered at EFL.
Nathan will not run alone
The starting point was on Saturday 7th of March on his beloved Old Trafford. Many people came to start this epic challenge with him, whether for sport, mental health or cleaning up implications.
Zoe, from Plogolution, came with all the equipment: Pickers, bin bags, and gloves. Plogolution is a group of ‘ploggers’ in London and she is the first ambassador in North-West. Beside set running and cleaning activities, she going to schools to speak with the children in «early age».
«When People come with us to ‘ploggs’, nobody goes away thinking I wish I have not done that, because it really makes people feeling good. It lifts all the spirit because you do good fo the community, you meet other people and also you do good for the environment.
Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, was also there to farewell Nathan. He also goes running regularly and he knows the state of the public space around Greater Manchester.
«The idea that Nathan is running is hard enough, but also plogging, picking up litter, well… How public spirit can you get».
«I think running is good for mental health. But then, the picking up litter is an added benefit because you feel running is actually changing things. You no just running to make yourself feel better, you running to make society better. I think this an amazing thing».
He will start the itinerary on Saturday, 7th of March in Old Trafford.
“I have always wanted to visit every football stadium in the English football league but I could not help but wonder if anyone had ever run to them all before”.
Additionally, “The prospect of being the first person to ever do this inspired me to take on this challenge”.
Nathan never had run before any marathon.
After the loss of two close relatives, he started jogging to cope with his mental and physical health.
Then, he ran two marathons, Manchester and Paris, in the space of one week.
He decided to push his limits an extra mile, and combine his two passions: Running and Football.
He would like people to join him on each ground when he goes through the area. Follow him on Instagram or Facebook
To donate to any of the charities mentioned above, click here