Penarth schoolboy close to completing epic challenge in memory of his much-loved grandfather
A 13-year-old schoolboy from Penarth is taking on a gruelling challenge in memory of his much-loved grandfather, fundraising for lifesaving heart research as part of his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) Award.
Martin Gilbert, a former geography teacher, deputy head teacher and schools adviser, passed away in May 2021, having suffered with heart failure, a condition where the heart is less able to pump blood around the body, as well as underlying health issues including a lung condition.
Inspired by Martin, who had enjoyed physical activities when he was well, Arthur Gilbert, decided to run 242 km, approximately 150 miles, the distance between Cardiff Castle and Buckingham Palace, over three months.
The keen athlete is asking for sponsors to donate to the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in Martin’s memory via his JustGiving page.
Arthur said: “Heart failure made the last couple of years really tough for my grandpa and grandma. My grandpa struggled a lot with his breathing because of his heart and my grandma had to care for him, which was a lot of work for her.
“He would often pass out and my grandma wasn’t able to help him up on her own. It was sad to see my grandpa, who used to love rock climbing, caving, and travelling, not be able to do these things anymore.”
Sports enthusiast Arthur enjoys playing rugby, football, and tennis for his local clubs, but he’s taken his love of sports to a new level by setting himself the mega fundraising challenge, which he’s also had to juggle with his other activities and schoolwork.
He’s used his grandfather’s memory as inspiration to power him through the pain barrier, and any obstacles he’s faced, from managing his revision timetable and dealing with a plantar fasciitis heel injury.
He said: “I’ve run through rain, sun, cloud, and cold and I feel like it’s boosted my resilience and persistence in challenges.
“I worked out that to run 242 km over the three-month D of E challenge period, I would have to run an average of 3km a day. I’ve tried to stick to that and then run a bit further some days to make up for any days I’ve had to miss.
“These past few months I’ve experienced ups, downs, and injuries. But I’m determined to finish the challenge and have been throughout.”
Arthur says that he’s on track to finish his challenge ahead of time, in mid-December. Having raised £800 already, he’s keen to hit his fundraising target of £1,000 for the BHF.
Head of BHF Cymru Rhodri Thomas said: “We are so grateful to Arthur for choosing to volunteer with the BHF and a huge well done for all the fabulous fundraising so far. We wish Arthur the very best of luck for the remainder of the challenge.”
To donate to Arthur’s fundraiser, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/arthur-gilbert
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.