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Season ticket holder Shelley marathons for Hambo

Tigers fan Shelley Kavanagh completed the first of three marathons in three countries across six months as she aims to raise money for The Matt Hampson Foundation. 

Shelley, who has been a season ticket holder at Welford Road for eight years, ran the 2019 London Marathon completing the capital’s 26-mile course in four hours, twenty seven minutes and 21 seconds. 

So far she has raised £1,380 for The Matt Hampson Foundation, which helps provide advice, support and treatment for suffering serious injury or disability, and will be hoping to add to this when she heads to Ireland on June 22 and Chicago on October 13.

Shelley, 41, travels up from her home in Windsor in Berkshire to watch Tigers play their home matches at Welford Road as well as following the club’s away fixtures. 

Two years ago, she raised £3,460 for The Matt Hampson Foundation running the London Marathon and the Wellington Marathon in New Zealand, whilst out watching Tigers Dan Cole and Ben Youngs during the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour. 

Shelley said:

“Tigers has given me some of my closest friends and most special memories and it really does feel like my family.

“As a keen runner who wanted to give something back to the sport I love, and with my connection to Tigers, the Matt Hampson Foundation was the obvious choice for my fundraising. 

I feel really privileged I got the chance to run London again for the Foundation. It’s such an incredible atmosphere, and I loved every minute of it.

"I recently visited the ‘Get Busy Living’ centre and seeing the amazing work they do got me through the tough miles on Sunday. 

“I didn’t manage a personal best, but I’m chuffed to get a time under four and a half hours. Now it’s  time to relax for a few days before starting the countdown to marathon number two in Waterford, Ireland in eight-weeks time - and then Chicago in October!”

Former Leicester Tiger Matt Hampson was paralysed following an accident during an England Under-21 training session back 2005. In 2010, he set-up his Foundation to help others who had suffered similar catastrophic injuries through sport can receive support and assistance. The Foundation opened the purpose-built ‘Get Busy Living’ centre in 2018. 

She added: “Given Matt was signed to the Leicester Tigers at the time of his accident, it's hard to be connected with the club and not be touched by the great work the Foundation does. 

“Visiting the Centre, I got to see first-hand the amazing work they do. This inspired me to want to raise as much money as possible to help them continue their great work.”

If you’d like to support Shelley and help her to raise money towards the work of The Matt Hampson Foundation, please visit her JustGiving page by clicking here

You can find out more about The Matt Hampson Foundation at the link below.