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Lancashire batsman excited to end season on a high.
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Lancashire’s Rob Jones is looking forward to combining one of his favourite pursuits with raising money for charity as he takes on the Three Peaks this October.
Jones, 23, has risen through the ranks at his county to become a regular in the first-class side. Despite his relatively young age, he is fully aware of the excellent work that the Professional Cricketers’ Trust does for players of all ages, and is eager to contribute himself.
Already a keen hiker, the Warrington-born man is relishing the prospect of taking on each of the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Three Peaks Challenge will see some of cricket’s most famous faces join fans in summiting Ben Nevis (1,345m), Snowdon (1,085m) and Scafell Pike (978m) in the space of three days.
All money raised will be split evenly between two very worthy causes in the Professional Cricketers’ Trust and Tom Maynard Trust.
The former provides support to current and ex-players when they need it most, whether it’s by way of funding for medical assistance, provision of specialist equipment or through emotional care. The latter helps young sportspeople by educating them about the potential pitfalls of a career in professional sport, as well as providing assistance with overseas placements and equipment.
The Trust recently spoke to Rob to gain some insight on his preparations for the Three Peaks.
- Why are you doing the Three Peaks challenge?
- To give something back to the PCA and the Cricketers’ Trust. The work they do for us is absolutely fantastic, so it’s nice to try and give something back to them and raise some money for a great cause.
- Did anyone or anything in particular inspire you to take on the challenge?
- Lancashire’s Personal Development Manager (PDM) Matthew Wood came in at the start of the year and told us about it. I quite like the outdoors and hiking anyway because I’ve done a lot of it in the past. So when Woody came in and asked if anyone wanted to do it I put my hand up immediately and said yes. I cracked on and signed up straight away and have been looking forward to it ever since.
- Have you got a fundraising target in mind?
- How are you going to achieve that target?
- I’ve set up a JustGiving page. I’m also going to ask Jimmy Anderson if I can get a signed shirt and try and auction it off at my local cricket club. Generally, the plan is just to raise awareness and get as many sponsors in as I can.
- Why is it important to support the Cricketers’ Trust?
- For people in my position, if anything ever goes wrong you just know that the Cricketers’ Trust will be there for you. We are shown the great work that they do in presentations at the start of the year. Some of the examples we’ve seen of them helping out current and ex-players are just fantastic. Like I said, it’s just great to be able to support such a brilliant cause.
- Have you got any training plans lined up?
- I think I should be alright to be honest. I’m 23 years old and play professional sport for a living so I back myself to get the three walks done!
- Are you joining anyone on the trip or just looking forward to meeting new people?
- I’m on my own from Lancashire since I’m the only one in the squad doing it. I’m just looking forward to tagging along and starting a chat with whoever – it’s always great to meet new people. Kate Cross is a Lancashire player and she’ll be there so I obviously know her quite well. Maybe I can join up with her. Who knows? I’ll just go with the flow.
- How are you going to keep morale high during the trip?
- I’m not quite sure at this moment in time to be honest. A singalong might work since I play a bit of guitar but it might be a bit heavy to carry around! I’ll just try and keep everybody in as positive a mindset as possible. If I see anyone struggling I’ll just keep reminding them of why they’ve signed up to do the Three Peaks because they’re doing great work. I think that’s what you have to have in mind no matter what challenge you’re doing. Just keep focusing on the reasons that you’re doing it and what you want to achieve.
- Have you got any post-Three Peaks celebrations planned?
- I’m going to see a band with my Dad that we both love and then I’m going to get away for a couple of weeks with my other half. It’ll be really nice to put my feet up and relax!