Family fun run planned to celebrate life of Rhys Jones

August event will mark poignant 10th anniversary of the schoolboy’s tragic death. Rhys was shot walking home from football training in Croxteth after innocently being caught in the cross-fire between two rival gangs.

A new family fun run at Croxteth Park has been announced, in memory of Liverpool youngster Rhys Jones.

Run For Rhys takes place on Sunday August 27 – which is just days after the 10th anniversary of the youngsters’ tragic death.

Everton fan Rhys Jones was aged just 11-years-old when his life was devastatingly cut short on 22 August 2007.

The Jones family’s heartbreaking story has recently been back in the spotlight through the ITV drama series, Little Boy Blue.

The team behind the Rhys Jones Community Centre CIC in Croxteth is staging the run to celebrate Rhys’ life while also raising much-needed funds to develop and continue the centre’s work.

The event has the support of the Rhys Jones family.

Runners can choose from three distances covering 5K, 3K or 1 mile.

Since the centre opened in August 2013, it has firmly established itself as a community hub, and was relaunched in May as a social enterprise, with the team hiring out its football pitches, multi-use hall and meeting rooms to raise funds to continue delivering its community projects.

Ongoing programmes include youth work, music and literacy workshops, and holiday activities.

The management board and directors of the Rhys Jones Community Centre CIC are delivering the fun run with Merseyside’s leading independent race event organiser BTR Liverpool.

Karen Harper, a director of the Rhys Jones Community Centre CIC, commented: “Next month August marks a decade since the tragic loss of Rhys. We feel the time is right to organise a legacy event in Rhys’ name as a positive way to celebrate his life.

“With the help and support of BTR and the Merseyside community, we are committed to bringing an aspirational initiative to the Croxteth community who supported Rhys’ parents Melanie and Stephen, and his older brother Owen in their darkest hours.”

Fun run registration fees pay to stage and deliver all aspects of the event.

Participants are encouraged to fundraise for the Rhys Jones Community Centre CIC to support its important work and community initiatives.

Sponsor forms are available, or donations can be made direct to the centre’s Go Fund Me page at https://www.gofundme.com/run-for-rhys-5k-legacy-event

Run For Rhys will be held in the grounds of Croxteth Country Hall and Park, with the start and finish line area being outside the main hall, with family activities taking place in the grounds.

Everyone taking part in the 5K, 3K or 1 mile will receive a specially designed technical running T-shirt, which can be collected beforehand so it can be worn for the run. All finishers will also receive a commemorative medal.​

The 1 mile fun run will start at 10am, followed by the 3K at 11am, with the 5K setting off at midday.

Registration is £16 for the 5K; £14 for the 3K; and £12 for the 1 mile.

Full details and online registration can be found at www.btrliverpool.com

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