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Weston Academy players and staff will run over 1,300 miles during February in memory of former Player Assistant Manager Chris Barker, raising money for mental health charity MIND.

The club are also encouraging supporters and the wider football community to complete their own personal ‘Run For Barks’ challenge, whilst donating to the fundraiser and posting their efforts on social media using the hashtag #RunForBarks.

The total distance follows ‘Barks’ throughout his senior playing career, starting out at Barnsley in 1999 and going on to play for Cardiff City, Stoke City, Colchester United, QPR, Plymouth Argyle, Southend United, Aldershot Town, Hereford FC and finishing off at Weston in 2017.

Academy players and staff will log their personal running distance daily using Strava, with their totals being added together to determine the group’s virtual location.

Updates on their progress will be posted on the Weston-super-Mare AFC Academy social media channels.

Barnsley – Cardiff: 210 miles
Cardiff – Stoke: 147 miles
Stoke – Colchester: 195 miles
Colchester – QPR: 76 miles
QPR – Plymouth: 212 miles
Plymouth – Southend: 268 miles
Southend – Aldershot: 86 miles
Aldershot – Hereford: 123 miles
Hereford – Weston: 75 miles

Total miles: 1,392 miles

Academy Senior Phase Manager Mark McKeever said:

We’re honoured to be able to do something in memory of Barks and if we can help raise some money and awareness of mental health issues along the way, then that’s even better.

“With what’s going on in the world at this present time, the subject of mental health is very topical, affecting a lot of people in different ways, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try and play our part, even if it is only in a small way.

“Hopefully people will get behind the club’s staff and players, and lend their support for this worthy cause.”

1st Team Manager Scott Bartlett said:

It’s a great thing to do.

“It was Macca’s idea and it is a really good way to keep our academy players engaged and involved while we wait to return.

“Barks did so much for other people and often raised money for charity – It’s lovely to be able to still do that in memory of him”.

You can donate to our fundraiser below or CLICKING HERE

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