On the 7th October 2019, Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Head of Partnerships and Development Dan Busfield will be embarking on an adventure to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, in order to raise money for the charity.
Kilimanjaro is not only Africa’s tallest peak, but also the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. After recently celebrating his 40th birthday, Busfield says that he wants to mark the occasion with a special challenge and decided that tackling the mountain would be the perfect test.
“I wanted to set myself a challenge that would keep me both physically and mentally motivated,” he explained.
“Whilst I’m incredibly proud of my family, my children and my career, I hope that when I’m asked the question ‘What is your greatest achievement?’, this challenge will provide me with an answer that resonates amongst others and helps me to feel a sense of accomplishment.”
Leeds Rhinos Foundation uses sport as the tool to engage people and communities to take part in a wide range of activities. As the official charity of Leeds Rhinos, rugby development is at our core. However, we also have many successful initiatives impacting other agendas, such as our Active Beyond Cancer programme, which offers people living with or recovering from cancer the opportunity to take part in tailored physical activity sessions.
The new Mental Wellbeing programme arms community club’s coaches and volunteers with knowledge to help them assist with any issues a young person may be facing. These projects are just a couple of examples and demonstrates what drives us at Leeds Rhinos Foundation to Change Lives Through Sport.
Busfield said: “I grew up in a close knit, proud, historical community around Dewsbury and Batley where I have seen clearly that sport and, Rugby League in particular, has had a positive impact on many people’s lives.”
“I feel that embedding sport and physical activity into young people’s lives is extremely important as there are so many positives that come from it: teamwork, camaraderie resilience and fun.”
As well as raising funds for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, Busfield is also keen to use the climb as a way of raising awareness for another important cause.
“Last year I was lucky enough to be invited to the James Milner Foundation Dinner and I was struck by the story of the ex-professional footballer Stephen Darby and what I learnt after speaking with a young man named Chris, who is living with Motor Neurone Disease,” explained Busfield.
“Coupled with the connection between Rugby League, Leeds Rhinos and Nick Smith, including our charity’s own partnership with the Nick Smith Foundation, I felt that it would be important to use my climb to help raise the profile of Motor Neurone Disease and utilise some of the funds raised to provide positive, inspiring experiences at Emerald Headingley for young people who are affected by the condition.”
“Whilst taking on Kilimanjaro will obviously be a difficult task, I’m incredibly excited for the challenge and proud to be representing and supporting a worthy cause. I’m hopeful that people will get behind my challenge and support my attempts to raise valuable funds for the Foundation.”