Inspired by my experiences running around the world we have set up a fund – the Run the World Fund – to support projects that :

  • Encourage, motivate and support people to be active and to meet (or surpass) the WHO recommended levels of physical activity ; and/or
  • Promote – or provide education about – the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle ; and/or
  • Use sport and physical activity to empower relatively disadvantaged sections of society in areas such as gender equality ; employability ;  educational attainment ; personal self-confidence and mental wellbeing

Why work in these areas when there is so much else to do? Because the mental and physical benefits of being active and living healthily are enormous* – and they don’t have to cost a lot. We ‘just’ need to persuade and motivate people to change their lifestyles – which means there is the potential for a very high social rate of return. In other words, we can do a lot of good without spending billions!

Funding is available to individuals, charities, not-for-profits and companies around the world and may, as appropriate, take the form of a donation / grant or a loan or an equity investment. In each case it will be subject to the following criteria :

  1. The project in question needs to be in line with the objectives set out above.
  2. It needs to be run by a local management team who can be trusted to deliver a successful project. (We don’t fly in experts – we support local people.)
  3. It needs to be cost effective as the Foundation has a limited resource. Cost-effective means looking at the per capita cost and the per capita output – with the output being measured in terms of increased awareness of the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle and/or adoption of such a lifestyle and/or an increase in the amount of physical activity undertaken by the audience in question. The longer term the impact and the greater the (positive) change in lifestyles, the more valuable the output. (Let’s make every dollar / pound / euro / local currency count.)
  4. The recipient needs to be willing to share local outcomes and learnings so that future funding can be deployed in a manner that maximises impact and social return on capital. (Let’s work together to do things in the best possible way.)
  5. The funding will be targeted towards those who need it the most – either because they live in parts of the world where there is very little funding for these types of activities or because of the personal circumstance of the ultimate beneficiaries. (Let’s help those who genuinely need it the most.)
  6. The completion of a short application form. (Don’t worry – the form really isn’t difficult or time-consuming.)

The Fund soft launched in 2019 and has, to date, donated to :

  • The Youths Who Run the World programme run by the Noela Lyonga Foundation in Cameroon
  • The Panathlon Challenge which, in 2018-19, provided sporting and leadership opportunities to over 25 000 students with disabilities and special needs
  • One Run Global Relay 15 000 people took part in in the first ever global relay on December 10th 2020. Planning has already started for the 2021 Relay.
  • Bedayati – empowering marginalised youth in Beirut (the Fund supports a programme to use exercise to help grow confidence / employability / leadership skills)
  • Free to Run – using sport to empower girls and women in Afghanistan
  • GirlsRun2 – transforming lives and communities in Djibouti through running
  • RunTalkRun – Run Talk Run exists to make both running and mental health support less intimidating, and more accessible. (Founded in London, RTR now has groups all over the UK and in Ireland, the US, Norway and France.)
  • Mustapha Manneh and the Brikama chapter of Walk4Health Gambia
  • Shoes for runners programme in Ouagadougou organised by Pie Traore


Please contact if you would like to discuss any of the above.

* Can lifestyle changes really make a difference? YES!!

  • 2018 Harvard study showed that a healthy lifestyle (healthy diet, activity level & weight ; moderate alcohol ; no smoking) = substantial average life gains
  • 14 years for women ; 12 years for men (on average)
  • adopting just one healthy habit = 2 year life gain
  • up to 40% of cancers can be avoided with an active, healthy lifestyle