COVENTRY children are being encouraged to run, jump and cycle their way to the other side of the world to raise £250,000 to help keep Plas Dol Y Moch’s doors open.
As part of the Route to Rio campaign, city children are being challenged cover the distance between Coventry and Rio – 5,777 miles – by taking part in a range of outdoor sports to help raise funds for the much-loved outdoor education centre in the heart of Wales.
Starting as a small community project to encourage youth participation in outdoor sports, the organisation behind Route to Rio – Coventry Sports Foundation (CSF) – hope the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games will inspire children across the city to get involved.
Wendy Jackson, community development manager at Coventry Sports Foundation, said: “Outdoor sports and activities are proven to be one of the most effective and high impact methods of learning among schoolchildren and Plas Dol Y Moch has been providing these valued opportunities to Coventry children for generations.
“It is therefore vital we continue to support the centre, which is why, with the support of schools and local businesses, we are aiming to help raise £250,000 by September 2017 – which will allow the centre to continue providing opportunities to children who likely would not receive them otherwise.”
Last week, Coventry councillors pledged to pump £500,000 into Plas Dol Y Moch to ensure its longevity and to increase the number of places on each course from 50 to 60.
Last year the centre hosted 89 per cent of Coventry’s schools, and it is estimated that over 100,000 Coventry children have attended a course at the centre since it was bought by Coventry City Council in 1966.
Backing the Route to Rio initiative, cabinet member for education Coun David Kershaw CBE, siad: “Plas Dol Y Moch is one of the city’s most treasured and well-loved resources and this is reflected by the fact the centre’s occupancy rates remain impressively high at 95 per cent.
“I am delighted that Coventry’s youngsters are joining the campaign to engage in sports and be able to make their own active contribution to meeting the challenge. We hope such events will also encourage and inspire children for years to come.”