When Callum’s best friend was killed in a road accident, he was determined that some good should come out of the tragedy.

The 13-year-old schoolboy came up with the idea of a “virtual run” to raise money in his memory, inspiring thousands of people all around the world to join in.

It was early 2016 when Callum dreamed up the event, which lets participants take part at any time and in any location.

The motivation came from the death of his best friend, Daniel Climance, who died while on a family bike ride in Purton, Wiltshire, in June 2015.

Working closely with his mum, Claire, and Daniel’s mum, Helen, he initially planned to get 1,000 people to run a combined distance of 5,000 miles.

He aimed to raise £20,000 for Brake, the road safety charity.

The idea, though, developed a life almost entirely of its own, as social media helped it spread across the world.

Leeds-based Brake were so impressed by the idea that they decided to launch the virtual run as a national campaign.

It was the cornerstone of the charity’s fundraising activities in 2016 and has been in 2017 too.

So far Callum’s brainwave has raised £30,000 for the charity. “Myself and Callum wanted to set up an event to raise money,” said Claire.

“But once you start looking into it, to organise something on the scale we wanted, is a massive undertaking.

"We decided to go for the virtual run instead because it seemed to suit what we were trying to achieve perfectly.

"We set up ours to coincide with accident prevention week.

“We set up a Facebook page and within a month we had 2,000 people involved. Callum promoted it amongst his friends and it just started from there. “We wanted Daniel to be remembered and the whole idea just exploded.

We’ve had schools doing it, football clubs doing it, you name it.” With participants able to walk, jog, run, use a treadmill or take part in any local race, it’s the event’s flexibility that has proved so popular worldwide.

The fundraising efforts have also acted as a source of strength to Daniel’s parents, both of whom have been moved by the numbers of people wanting to play a role.

Losing his friend must have been a desperately sad time for Callum, but even in the middle of his own grief, he wanted to help others. He’s such a thoughtful, kind boy, and his idea was a stroke of genius.Pride of Sport judges



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