Game of Thrones star to run Edinburgh Marathon
He is known by millions as Rhaegar Targaryen, the character he played in hit TV series Game of Thrones, but on Sunday Wilf Scolding will be taking on the much more likeable role of fundraiser as he runs Edinburgh Marathon on behalf of children’s charity – Mary’s Meals.
The Welsh actor has raised more than £1,000 already for the charity that provides meals for chronically poor children across 18 developing countries around the globe, including Malawi, Zambia, South Sudan, Haiti, India and Zimbabwe.
The 29-year-old was inspired to take on the 26-mile race, despite having never previously ran more than a few miles, after he was gifted The Shed That Fed a Million Children, a book written by Mary’s Meals founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow for his birthday.
The Game of Thrones actor explained: “It opened my eyes to how lucky I was and how unlucky some people can be.
“They feed just over 1.4 million children in places of education across the world. All too often in developing countries children cannot go to school because they are working alongside their parents to put food on the table.
“They are trapped in this cycle of poverty because they do not have access to an education.
“Mary’s Meals, by providing food in a place of education, breaks this cycle of poverty. They are great”.
The book tells the series of stories that led to the conception of the charity in seventeen years ago when founder MacFarlane-Barrow met a mother dying from AIDS on a trip to Malawi during a famine. When Magnus asked her eldest son, Edward, what his dreams were in life, he replied: “I want to have enough food to eat and to go to school one day.”
Mary’s Meals feeds almost 1.5 million children every school day across four different continents by providing a daily meal in a place of learning. Schools are chosen as the location to hand out the free meals in order to attract chronically poor children into the classroom, where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.
Wilf has utilised his thousands of Twitter followers to raise funds for the charity by continuing to share his training progress as well as his dedication to ending world hunger across his social media platforms.
Commenting on Wilf’s efforts, Frank Nelson, Head of Fundraising at Mary’s Meals, said: “We are extremely grateful to Wilf for supporting Mary’s Meals and helping to raise awareness of our charity. We wish him the very best of luck with Sunday’s marathon.
“Our work would not be possible without the generosity of supporters like Wilf who are inspired to make a difference.”
Research conducted for the charity shows that schools whose children receive food supplied by Mary’s Meals received higher enrolment numbers, better attendance and fewer drop-out rates. Children have also reported to be happier, healthier and perform better in a classroom setting.
Edinburgh Marathon is taking place this weekend as part of the annual Edinburgh Marathon Festival that includes five and ten kilometre races on Saturdayand the half and full marathons on Sunday, May 26.