Prince Charles this morning officially started the The Dumfries House Sport Relief Mile, marking the beginning of Sport Relief 2014.
The Duke of Rothesay (as Prince Charles is known in Scotland), began the event outside Dumfries House, Ayrshire, denoting the beginning of the Sport Relief campaign for this year. The mile long route takes runners around the large estate, to finish at the front of the House, of which The Prince himself helped to save.
Before Charles set the race off, he had photos taken with some participants of this years race, as well as children from local schools and Sport Relief funded projects, and a few celebrities, such as X Factor finalist, Nicholas Macdonald.
The first-in-line to the throne only made a brief visit to begin the race, and show his support for the campaign, which is one of the biggest fundraising events in the country, having raised over £195 million since it began in 2002. The campaign aims to get the UK active, whilst raising money for charity, which is then distributed by Comic Relief to causes in the UK and abroad.
The event at Dumfries is not the only one however; the public can run, swim or cycle a mile at Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, which runs 21st-23rd March 2014. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will also be re-opened for a select few participants to trace the footsteps of the Olympic and Paralympic heroes and athletes of London’s 2012 Olympic Games, into which the Queen ‘parachuted’ during the Olympics Opening Ceremony. They will be the first to experience the Park in such a way before it fully reopens to the public soon after the event.
Prince Charles, much like his sons, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, is fond of sports, polo, football, rugby and wheelchair sports all featuring in the long list of Patronages he supports, and so it is not surprising to see the Prince at such an event, which is based on the estate a consortium purchased in 2007. Charles led this consortium, which saved the house, the land and its inner treasures for the public, all of which were to be auctioned off separately, including the priceless Chippendale furniture within.
The Duke now visits several times a year, The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust now a successful visitor attraction and part of a local regeneration project, of which Charles helped begin, like the run he began today for Sport Relief.