Scots rugby legend and Para athlete star launch 100 Streets Challenge for mental health

Grand slam winner Scott Hastings and World Para Athletics star Maria Lyle have launched the 100 Streets Challenge 2019 campaign for a mental health charity.

Rugby legend and athletics star launch Scotland's 100 Streets Challenge
Rugby legend and athletics star launch Scotland's 100 Streets Challenge

The challenge is to raise awareness of mental health issues for national charity Support in Mind Scotland.

People choose their route any day in 2019 between 1 April and 10 October and participants can walk, run or cycle their way round.

Athletics golden girl Maria Lyle and Scottish rugby legend Scott Hastings are urging people to join a free charity challenge to raise mental health awareness.

Scott Hastings and his wife Jenny are ambassadors for Support in Mind Scotland, and for the past three years have used their own personal mental health experiences to inspire others to sign up to the charity’s flagship campaign, the 100 Streets Challenge.

READ MORE: Colin Leslie: Be streets ahead in your mental healthThis year the Hastings have been joined by track star Maria as they encourage participants to get creative by devising their own route before walking, running or cycling 100 streets in their community, any time between 1 April and World Mental Health Day on 10 October.

Maria, 19, who has Cerebral Palsy, has courageously talked about her own mental health struggles in the past and is passionate about raising awareness and encouraging others to seek help if or when they need it.

Support in Mind Scotland provide services and support to more than 1,300 people affected by mental ill health each week across 21 projects.

The European champion and Commonwealth Games medallist from Dunbar, fresh from winning double gold in the 100 metres and 200m at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai last week, said: “Mental health is a cause close to my heart and I am delighted to be able to help Support in Mind Scotland with this great initiative which helps people stay physically active.

“I know from my own experience that mental ill health affects many of us, but it is reassuring that there are charities around like Support in Mind Scotland to offer expert help and support where and when it is needed.

“The 100 Streets Challenge will further help raise awareness of mental health issues. It is a simple and fun way for people to get out and explore their communities, either on their own or as part of a group.”

READ MORE: Leader comment: Moving streets ahead on mental healthIn a show of sporting support for the 100 Streets Challenge, the pair were also joined by Edinburgh City pair Josh Walker and Liam Henderson, who hope to encourage their League Two promotion-chasing team-mates and football fans to sign-up to the mental health campaign.

Since the inclusive, free-to-register campaign was first launched in 2016, hundreds of people of all ages have taken part across the country and beyond, generating important discussions about mental health and raising funds for SiMS, who provide vital mental health services to around 1,300 people each week Scotland.

Mr Hastings said: “The 100 Streets Challenge has gone from strength to strength with each year and it is always pleasing to see just how many positives people get out of taking part.

“Whether you decide to walk, run or cycle, taking part in the 100 Streets Challenge helps release endorphins and can improve your mental well-being. Jenny and I have had great fun taking part each year and we are really looking forward to undertaking the challenge again. We hope as many people as possible join the campaign and support this charity’s invaluable work.”

Scott , Jenny, Maria, Josh and Liam joined forces to promote the launch at the David Lloyd Club in Newhaven Harbour, Edinburgh, where staff and members are planning to sign up together for this year’s 100 Streets Challenge.

David Lloyd Club general manager Alison McIntyre said: “As a team, we are passionate about raising issues around mental health and we feel the 100 Streets Challenge is the perfect way for people to continue having conversations about such an important issue. We will be going out in groups throughout the spring and summer and look forward to completing the challenge.”

* It is free to take part in Support in Mind Scotland’s 100 Streets Challenge. Sign-up now