Three siblings, Emily, Victoria, and Chris Hart took on the TCS London Marathon together raising £26,000 for the RFU Injured Players Foundation and Heads Together charities.
Emily, Victoria, and Chris were devastated when their much-loved brother Matthew, who played for Bromley RFC, took his own life last year.
Emily (30) a recruitment consultant, Victoria, a 25-year-old primary school teacher and Chris, a 24-year-old scaffolder, all trying to cope with the huge impact their brother’s death had on the family, wanted to do something positive in Matthew’s memory and that was fundraising for mental health charity, Heads Together, and the RFU Injured Players Foundation.
Emily said: “We wanted to do something where we could raise money for two charities very close to our hearts, Heads Together who are supporting people with mental health, and a rugby charity which is something that Matthew loved from a very young age. Raising money for the RFU Injured Players Foundation allowed us to support an amazing charity close to Matthew’s passion for rugby and where he found some of his closest bonds in life.
“He spent the last three years in Lasswade where he regularly played for the local rugby club. When Matthew passed it came as a shock to both rugby clubs as he was a huge part of both Bromley and Lasswade and again everyone wanted to do something to keep his memory alive. We held a rugby match which was Lasswade v Bromley in a festival style day with music, food vans, raffle and silent auction. Victoria also ran a quiz night in his memory with over 60 tickets sold at Bromley Rugby.”
Smiles, Tension, Tears and Laughter
Then the trio decided to take their fundraising further and run the London Marathon, raising more than £26,000, an incredible amount. Among their supporters was Chris’ six-month-old son Roman.
“None of us had ever run a marathon before but it was a challenge we all wanted to come together to accomplish for Matthew. The training was intense and long, beginning in March, and we hated every second! We're incredibly proud to be able to raise this amount of money for the IPF and Heads Together as none of us will ever do another marathon, or even run! It really was a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the day, it had it all smiles, tension, tears, laughter, excitement, more tears, fulfilment, more tears, pride and happiness to be able to raise a glass to Matthew at the end of it all.
“We had many family and friends come to support us on the day along the full route which really helped with motivation and it was wonderful to see some many of Matthew’s friends who came down to support us throughout the day. We are also grateful for the support we've received as a family over the last 18 months in raising money for the charities and remembering Matthew.”
Gary, “We are so very, very proud of this amazing achievement of Emily, Victoria and Christopher who don't really like running, in running the marathon. This, in loving memory of their so beloved and so greatly missed brother Matthew, who everyone called Basha, and the great deserving charity that Basha would have fully supported. It was a beautiful day and the sun shone brightly for Matthew and the RFU Injured Players Foundation.
“I took Matthew, my eldest son, to Bromley Rugby Club when he was five years old and every Sunday from then on within the rugby season we went rugby training and playing and he absolutely loved it. He loved playing front row for most of his career, eventually finishing as wing forward. Nearly every season he won The most Consistent Player award - a reflection of his commitment and love of the game and Bromley RFC.”
Join the #RugbyRunners Team at the London Marathon 2023
If you're inspired to take on the London Marathon in 2023, join the #RugbyRunners team fundraising for rugby players who experience life changing injuries. For more information and to sign up click here.