Merton Cricket Club on field

Merton Cricket Club’s moon run for mental health

A cricket club in Merton aims to run the circumference of the moon by the end of 2021 to raise money for mental health charity, Mind.

Merton Cricket Club’s members need to run 10,921km this year.

Merton CC third XI captain James Prebble proposed the challenge at the end of 2020 as a way for the group to keep fit during lockdown. 

Prebble, 30, said: “I wanted to get a group of us together – some of us are active runners and some are looking to get into it to work towards a massive challenge which felt scary to tackle.

“It was a good opportunity to inspire some of the guys to get up, put some trainers on and go for a run.”

The club are aiming to raise £1,092 for mental health charity Mind and have so far collected £745.

Prebble started suffering from anxiety three years ago, with stress from his previous job causing him to have night terrors and a severe panic attack.

After attending a self-development event, Prebble started sharing his experiences to help others.

He said: “Vulnerability creates connection so if more guys, regardless of age and social upbringing, can open up about how they are feeling it would take a weight off of their mind.

“If by doing this challenge, we can get more people involved in conversation, physical activity and feeling part of their community then that’s brilliant.”

With nearly two months of the year remaining, the group of 26 has over 2000km left to run.

Progress waned during the cricket season as participating players needed more recovery time.

But Prebble, confident they will complete the challenge, said: “It’s going to be a stretch but we’ll be able to do it.”

His team had an impressive first season in the Surrey Championship, earning promotion by ending their campaign with an eight-game unbeaten run.

The club members have been recording their runs on a spreadsheet.

Some, like Prebble who has contributed over 700km, are experienced runners, while others are newcomers to this activity.

Third XI batsman Paul Parmenter started the NHS Couch to 5k programme at the beginning of 2021.  

Parmenter said: “Before, the idea of running horrified me.

“At the start, 60 seconds of running almost killed me, but a couple of days ago I managed to do seven kilometres.”

He added: “James is brilliant and has been very encouraging.” 

Prebble is grateful for the Merton cricketers’ contributions towards the target distance and the donations they’ve received.

He explained: “It’s not just people who have contributed through running but also people who have offered encouragement or tips.

“Even when it comes to silly stuff like the best types of running shoes to wear, people have helped.” 

Merton Cricket Club is located at The John Innes Recreation Ground on Cannon Hill Lane and fields sides of various abilities and ages. 

To support the group’s endeavour to run the circumference of the moon, visit their Just Giving page.

Photocredit: Merton Cricket Club

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