Matt Maynard is looking forward to “enjoying the experience of raising funds for two very important charities” as he prepares to take on the Three Peaks Challenge in aid of the Professional Cricketers’ Trust and Tom Maynard Trust from 10th to 13th October.
With 100 days to go until the challenge commences, Matt, currently interim Head Coach at Glamorgan, has urged cricket lovers from all walks of life to sign up, noting that the walk will be made up of a “huge, diverse spread of people” rather than being exclusively reserved for current and ex-players.
That’s not to say fans and PCA partners alike won’t be joining some of the biggest names in cricket, though. Graham Gooch has already confirmed that he will be taking on the challenge, and Maynard is looking forward to the morale boost that the former PCA President will provide.
“Goochie will be brilliant, won’t he? Everyone on the trip will want to be speaking to him in the bar in the evening because he’s just such a good man. He’s a legend of the game and to have him joining us on the walk is just fantastic.”
Gooch has previous experience of fundraising challenges after completing his Coast 2 Coast walk last year, and Maynard is no different.
The Tom Maynard Trust, of which Matt is a founder, has previously collaborated with the Professional Cricketers’ Trust on three ‘Big Bike Rides’ in order to raise valuable funds for these two very worthy causes.
“They’ve been hugely successful for both charities. We’ve had great participants all the way through and all of the counties have been very supportive. The feedback from the Big Bike Rides was fantastic but we were left wondering: is there anything else we can do? Hopefully we can accommodate even more people on the Three Peaks and get a hundred people to sign up.”
Although the challenge itself is still a few months away, Maynard is keen to get ahead of the game in terms of preparation. The walkers will cover over 28 miles over the course of the three days, ascending Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon (a combined height of 3,408m) in the process.
“It will be a tough challenge, but it’s going to be fun and I think the bus journeys in particular could be absolutely brilliant. That’s what I’m looking forward to – a bit of camaraderie like we previously had on the bike rides. I’m also looking forward to doing the challenge with Ceri, my daughter. She did the third Big Bike Ride and although it was a challenge for her – as it was for everyone – she came through with flying colours and we’re both looking forward to attacking the Three Peaks.”
Those taking on the Three Peaks will be buoyed not only by overcoming the physical challenge, but also by the knowledge that they’ll be raising valuable funds for both the Professional Cricketers’ Trust and the Tom Maynard Trust.
Matt Maynard helped to found the Trust following the tragic death of his son Tom Maynard in 2012. The charitable organisation aids the development of young sports people and makes them aware of the potential pitfalls of a career in sport. Amongst other initiatives, the Tom Maynard Trust sponsors the PCA Rookie Camp, which educates newcomers to the game about life as a professional cricketer on an annual basis.
Something of a fundraising expert himself, Maynard explains that “there are so many different ways of raising money” that those who have signed up can get involved with. Collections, quiz nights, jumble sales, fun days – it can be anything. It’s all about just asking people what they can give back.”
An ambitious Maynard doesn’t hold back when quizzed on an overall fundraising target for the event.
“If we can get to 100 walkers then £150,000 would be a big push but it would be attainable.”
The Three Peaks Challenge is open to everyone and while there are limited spaces available, the Professional Cricketers’ Trust and Tom Maynard Trust are encouraging sign-ups to join in their biggest fundraiser of the year.