Sport Relief runs years on the BBC. The operation is managed by BBC Sport and Comic Relief. Sport Relief bring people from the world of sport and entertainment together to raise money for vulnerable people in the poorest countries of the world and the UK. The pivotal event in Sport Relief is the Sport Relief Mile.
Sport Relief Activities
The First Sport Relief in 2002
The first Sport Relief program was presented in 2002 by Jamie Theakston Ulrika Jonsson, Clare Balding and Gary Lineker. The show included a special Sport Relief edition of ‘They think its a Question of Sport presented by Stephen Fry. Suzi Perry and John Inverdale and brought back the legendary 1970s series ‘Superstars’ to mark the Sport Relief event. The First Sport Relief show also featured the first ever outing for ‘Celebrity Boxing’. Bob Mortimer beat Les Dennis is the bout. Other participants in the Sport Relief broadcast that year were Sir Steve Redgrave, Tanni Grey Thompson. Alec Stewart, Audley Harrison, Alistair McGowan, Ronni Ancona, Angus Deayton, Patrick Kielty and Nick Hancock. Music for the Sport Relief show was provided by Will Young and Gareth Gates, then newly famous from their reality TV show successes. Johnny Vegas presented a special Sport Relief edition of ‘Runaround’ .Other features of the show included ‘Sport in the Square’, where cast members from ‘Casualty’, ‘Holby City’ and ‘Eastenders’ participated in sporting events in the Albert Square set of ‘Eastenders’. A Sport Relief highlight that year was a doubles tennis match between Tony Blair and Pat Cash on the one side and Ilie Nastase and Alistair MacGowan on the other. The game was shown live on Sunday Grandstand and comedian Tony Hawks commentated.
The first Sport Relief show raised £14 Million on the night compared with £50 Million in 2012. The biggest jump in Sport Relief proceeds however occurred between 2008 and 2012 when the amounts raised rose fro £19.5 Million to £31 Million and then to £50 Million in two steps despite the recession. The reasons for this increase in sums raised however, is more to do with the professionalism of the operation rather than sudden changes in pubic generosity. Sport Relief is now established and has a professionally planned money raising strategy involving sponsorship, of which the main TV program itself is just the tip of the iceberg. The highlight of Sport Relief since its first run in 2002 was when someone phoned in an anonymous donation of £5.5 Million in 2008. Since the first Sport Relief show highlights have included David Walliams swimming the English Channel in 2006 and the Strait of Gibraltar in 2008, and a Sport Relief show jumping competition called ‘Only Fools and Horses’ in 2006 which raised £250,000. In 2003 Eddie Izzard, in support of Sport Relief ran 43 marathons over 51 days, ending in Trafalgar Square. He covered a total of 1,166 Miles and raised over £1,150,000 for Sport Relief.
Farm Animal Support Sport Relief
Sport Relief 2014
In keeping with the way Sport Relief has developed over the yeas ‘Sport Relief 2014’ was launched over two months before the main event. The main Sport Relief weekend is on from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The start of the Sport Relief campaign itself was launched as early as January 21st.
Sport Relief 2014 will take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. For a few weeks before the main program ‘Sport Relief Top Dog’ hosted by Gaby Roslin appears on BBC 2. The presenters of the 2014 main program are Claudia Winkleman, Jack Whitehall, Fearne Cotton, Davina McCall, David Walliams, and Gary Lineker, who was a presenter on the first Sport Relief 12 years before. The ‘Sport Relief Mile’ will be added to by three major cycling Sport Relief events in Glasgow, Manchester and London. And more than 600 ‘swimathons’ are be organised under the all embracing title of the Sport Relief Games’. The front people for the three sections of ‘The Sport Relief Games’ are Chris Hoy, Ellie Simmonds, and Jessica Ennis-Hill. Advance entries for the Sport Relief Games opened on September 24th.2013, more than four months ahead of the official campaign launch. The March 21st Sport Relief broadcast will feature a one off edition of ‘Only Fools and Horses’, and Sebastian Coe and John Bishop and celebrity teams will take part in ‘Clash of the Titans’ at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
2014 Sport Relief Games
The Sport Relief Mile
The ‘Sport Relief Mile’ was originally created in 2004 to give the Sport Relief project a focus and to provide an event which was open to anyone whether they wanted to walk, jog, run or propel themselves by any other self powered method. Some have bounced, wheeled and even crawled. The attraction of the Sport Relief Mile is that it is open to anyone of any age and most participants can complete the course in some fashion. The first Sport Relief Mile was also intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister having run the first sub 4 minute mile. Participants in the ‘Sport Relief Mile’ event can also choose to cover 3 miles or 6 miles which are similar distances to the 5K and 10K runs more common in mass events. 81,000 people participated in the first Sport Relief Mile sponsored by ‘Fitness First’ in 2004 and the official sponsor is now Sainsbury’s. This is one example of the improved professionalism in running the Sport Relief operation which has resulted in its increased success in raising money. The 2006 Sport Relief Mile attracted 423,000 participants making it one of the biggest mass participation events ever. Televised Mile Runs were held in Ipswich, Birmingham, Nottingham, Hull, Leeds, Gateshead/Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff, Bristol, Plymouth, Southampton, and Brighton. In 2010 many schools in the UK did their own Sport Relief Mile.
The Sport Relief Single
An essential feature of the Sport Relief Event is the ‘Sport Relief Single’ sung by some popular musician of the year to raise money for and to increase the profile of the Sport Relief. Songs to date have been
|Date||Title||Performer(s)||Top Chart Position|
|2002||”Your Song“||Elton John/Alessandro Safina||4|
|2004||“Some Girls“||Rachel Stevens||2|
|2006||“Don’t Stop Me Now“/”Please, Please“||McFly||1|
|2008||“Better in Time“/”Footprints in the Sand“||Leona Lewis||2|
|2010||“Morning Sun“||Robbie Williams||45|
|2014||“Word Up!“||Little Mix||—|
Little Mix to sing 2014 Sport Relief Single ‘Word Up’
Sport Relief Facts of Life
Sport Relief provides popular broadcastable material for the BBC and is part of a registered charity called ‘Charity Projects’. In 2009 the charity awarded grants of £36 million and has assets of £120 million. The charity receives government grants and in 2010 received £10 Million. In 2009 the charity reported staff and agency staff costs of £12 Million.