Race is run off the road

END OF THE ROAD: Terry Dickenson in 2009 with then Mayor Iris Smith and Chorley Council chief executive Donna Hall
END OF THE ROAD: Terry Dickenson in 2009 with then Mayor Iris Smith and Chorley Council chief executive Donna Hall

A popular Chorley sporting event has been cancelled due to financial constraints and lack of support.

The Chorley Charity Challenge was organised by Chorley Athletic Club on behalf of the Mayor of Chorley, and all funds raised were donated to their chosen good causes.

But the escalating costs involved in organising the event, which raised thousands of pounds for charities, has led to the run being cancelled this year.

The event took in a three-mile route through Astley Park and the town centre.

Terry Dickenson, from Chorley Athletic Club, said: “We at Chorley Athletic Club have always gone out of our way to support Chorley charitable events.

“But unfortunately the Charity Challenge fun run has had to be cancelled due to not having a major sponsor, and the present economic climate.

“Given the high costs of advertising and marketing, without a high-profile sponsor, we could not see us being able to raise significant amounts to give to charity.”

Current Mayor of Chorley, Coun Ken Ball, said: “It’s a real shame the event will not be taking place, but unfortunately it’s a fact of life. It’s not like it used to be.

“In years gone by, we used to get thousands of pounds from big companies – but not any more.

“We’re finding that people are scaling down on what they donate to charities.

“I’d encourage people to try to support local charities, but I do understand that money is not going as far as it used to.”

Coun Peter Goldsworthy, leader of Chorley Council, said: “We are grateful for the efforts of Chorley Athletic Club in organising this event.

“They have done a great job in the past.

“But it’s a big commitment, and we appreciate they have a busy programme of other events that they want to concentrate on.

“We fully understand the decision, and we hope to work closely with them in the future.”

This year, the mayor’s charities are Rainbow House, the Friends of Wrightington Hospital, Homestart, Chorley Sea Cadets and Coppull Scouts.

Mr Dickenson thanked Lancashire Constabulary, Paul Wareing Builder, Withnell Pharmacy, Chorley Community Housing, Chorley Borough Council, and club members who all turned out to supported the 2010 event.

Another popular event, the Cancer Research UK Race for Life 5K event that has been held annually in Worden Park in Leyland, has also been cancelled this year as organisers said that it failed to raise enough money to make it viable.

Runners wishing to support Race for Life will have to travel to Preston, Wigan or Blackburn to take part in an event.