A garden marathon and a trim for Cristiano – what sports stars did on Saturday

Sports stars and clubs across the world continue to help their local communities – plus find new ways to amuse themselves – during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the best examples from April 4.


Dina Asher-Smith and other members of Team GB’s women’s 4x100m relay team have taken part in the #DontRushChallenge on Instagram to help raise £15,000 for the NHS. Asher-Smith is joined by fellow sprinters Daryll Neita, Jodie Williams, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Asha Philip, Ashleigh Nelson, Desiree Henry and Bianca Williams showcasing their medals.


Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld surprised NHS worker and Spurs super fan Tayla Porter with a video call. Porter had already gone viral after a clip emerged of her neighbours cheering her off to work last week and she was made to feel even more loved when her favourite defender got in touch.

Leicester relaunched their Gift of a Wish campaign, allocating funds to causes who work with people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The programme, run by the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation, invited local causes to apply for grants.

Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said in an open letter: “We are acutely aware that there are a huge number of worthy causes of all sizes within Leicestershire communities, for whom the pandemic both demonstrates their immeasurable value, yet threatens their very existence.

“It is with this in mind that today, on what would have been my beloved father’s birthday, the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation is relaunching the Gift of a Wish programme for 2020, making funds available to causes in Leicestershire to apply for grants to support valuable work in the community.”

Wolves forward Diogo Jota got the better of Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa in a game of FIFA 20, with the online clash raising money for Acorns Children’s Hospice.

AC Milan announced that the The Gordon and Jenny Singer Foundation had donated 100,000 US dollars (£81,500) towards the purchase of ventilators for the Italian National Health Service. The money is in addition to the club’s fundraising campaign for the emergency response arm of the Lombardy region’s government, which has so far raised around 500,000 euros (£440,000).

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo spent his latest day in lockdown by getting a haircut.

And his Juventus team-mate Sami Khedira celebrated his birthday by having dinner with… himself.

Rugby union

Former Wales captain and Wales Rugby Union head of performance Ryan Jones completed a full marathon around his garden, raising more than £5000 for Swansea Bay NHS.

Former England captain Will Carling is hoping to make a difference in the lives of elderly rugby fans who are in isolation during the lockdown by trying to set up calls from rugby stars.

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