The ‘Run to the Moon’ initiative to raise funds for the coaches and support staff who are struggling due to COVID-19 pandemic has collected Rs 19 lakh with 14,000 runners from different parts of the world taking part in it.
The participants were given a collective target of 3,84,400 kilometres, the distance between the earth and the moon, to be covered by July 21 to mark the 51st anniversary of man’s first landing on moon.
But together, the runners ended up covering a phenomenal distance of 9,08,800 kilometres over a 30-day span, completing the first leg on July 6 and repeating that feat on July 18.
The initiative was spearheaded by chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and Arjuna Awardees Ashwini Nachappa and Malathi Holla to raise funds for needy coaches and support staff in the country who have been struggling to make ends meet in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The idea was conceived by IDBI Federal Life Insurance and NEB Sports.
The runners from 15 countries had registered to contribute for this noble cause, amassing Rs 14 lakh in the process. IDBI Federal Life Insurance contributed an additional Rs 5 lakh, taking the total funds raised to Rs 19 lakh.
“I would like to congratulate all the runners for getting to the moon and coming back, covering a distance of over 9 lakh kilometres in just 30 days,” said Gopichand.
“The commitment shown for their own health and for contributing to help those who have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic crisis is truly touching. I thank each of them from the bottom of my heart.
“The funds raised through this initiative will be used to help the coaches and support staff across a range of sports including badminton, tennis, basketball, football and athletics,” Vighnesh Shahane, MD & CEO of IDBI Federal Life Insurance, said.