Canaries fan completes gruelling footy grounds challenge

James Hastings with friends on one of his runs in aid of Mind

James Hastings with friends on one of his runs in aid of Mind - Credit: Contributed

Having suffered mental health issues, a Norwich City fan has completed a running challenge to help support others feeling low.

James Hastings, 23, decided to cover the distance of the 24 football grounds in the Championship division where the Canaries were situated when he began the challenge in early 2021.

The former Norwich School pupil, who now lives in Clapham, covered 1,939km starting and finishing at Carrow Road in aid of the mental health charity Mind.

James Hastings completed his running challenge for Mind at Carrow Road on New Year's Eve

James Hastings completed his running challenge for Mind at Carrow Road on New Year's Eve - Credit: Contributed

During the duration of the fundraiser, Mr Hastings pulled on his running shoes in varying conditions from 35 degrees heat to snow and hail.

Having completed his challenge alongside friends at Carrow Road on New Year's Eve, Mr Hastings has currently raised £3,750 for Mind after setting a target of £3,125. 

Mind provides advice and support to support anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

And the charity works in partnership with the English Football League to raise awareness of mental health and to encourage people to open up to seek help.

Mr Hastings said: "Going for a run helped me mentally on a personal level after a long day at work.

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"I wanted to support Mind because many people have faced extreme anxieties over the past two years whether that is grieving, financial concerns or being in isolation."

James Hastings is pictured on the left with friends

James Hastings is pictured on the left with friends - Credit: Contributed

Mr Hastings recalls being faced with mental health issues due to a feeling of "helplessness" to support friends and family who were struggling, as well the combined stresses of work and Covid. 

Former Norwich City stars Darren Huckerby and Bryan Gunn were among those to spread the word of the footy fan's fundraiser which saw him joined by friends from Acle Cricket Club and Norwich School on his runs.

Mr Hastings, who is originally from Saxlingham Nethergate, has encouraged others to take up running to help alleviate any mental struggles.

He said: "You have to start somewhere and it is a case of putting on your trainers and going for it.

"Do not worry about what others think about you when you are on the run. Build up from whatever level you are at."

James Hastings

James Hastings is raising awareness and funds for mental health charity Mind. - Credit: James Hastings

His Just Giving fundraising page can be found here

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