It’s a tough ask but Table Tennis England staff have made a good start to the #MyMiles challenge in support of SportsAid.

After a week of our monthly quest to cover 5,921 miles between us – the equivalent distance from our head office in Milton Keynes to Tokyo, host city of the 2020 Olympics – we have covered just under 1,400 miles.

Our 43 staff have been cycling, running and walking and adding up all our miles, keeping the Team GB theme, we’ve made it as far as Minsk, the Belarus capital which hosted the European Games this summer.

On a direct route from Milton Keynes to Tokyo, our total so far would put us in Ukraine, just north of the Black Sea. It’s a good start, but we’re not going to be letting up as we have to cover about 4.5 miles per person, per day.

Why are we dong this?

It is all part of SportsAid Week 2019, which runs from September 23 to 29 and aims to raise money for the charity, which supports the country’s most talented young sports stars as they strive to represent Team GB and ParalympicsGB at future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

More than 1,000 athletes across more than 60 sports receive grants each year. The majority are aged 12 to 18 and receive an average award of £1,000. Among the young table tennis players to have received funding in recent years are Charlotte Bardsley, who was named SportsAid athlete of the month last November, plus Denise Payet, Helshan Weerasinghe, Amirul Hussain, Ruby Chan, Josh Weatherby and Jasmin Wong, plus para player Felicity Pickard.

Paul Drinkhall, who competed at London 2012 and Rio 2016 and will be aiming to qualify for Tokyo 2020, is also a SportsAid alumnus, as is para world champion and Paralympic medallist Ross Wilson.

The is still time to sign up to take part in SportsAid Week 2019 yourself – click here to request your free fundraising pack.

As well as the #Mymiles challenge, you could organise a bake sale, a sports quiz, a bucket collection or any type of event you wish. Click here to visit the SportsAid website for more ideas and information.

All the money raised assists athletes with training and competition costs, including equipment, accommodation and transport, during the critical early stages of their careers. The initiative also acts as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on SportsAid and the work the charity does to provide athletes and their parents with support at the beginning of the talent pathway.