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A BBC football commentator is hoping to set a rounders world record and raise £10,000 in the process – all in memory of his sporting hero father.
Adam Oxley, a sports journalist at BBC Radio Sheffield, has organised the two-part bumper fundraiser in support of Ashgate Hospice after it cared for his dad, Glen Oxley, at the end of his life.
The 38-year-old will lead a team of sporting stars for Guinness World Record rounders attempt on 29 to 30 July – a feat inspired by Glen, who played the sport for decades representing both South Yorkshire and England.
The challenge will see the same group of 30 players attempt to achieve the longest rounders marathon by playing the game non-stop for 24 hours.
Adam’s other challenge, taking place the weekend before, will see family and friends walk 64 miles – the age Glen was when he died – between Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield to Glen’s family home in Eckington.
The fundraisers will take place around the fourth anniversary of Glen’s death from prostate cancer in 2019, after he was diagnosed in March the previous year.
Adam, who covers the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Chesterfield FC on Radio Sheffield’s Football Heaven show, said the hospice “made Dad’s final few weeks as comfortable as possible.”
“The support Ashgate gave my dad and us as a family in his final weeks was incredible and I’m planning to raise some money for them in his memory,” Adam added.
“We had planned to do something in previous years before Covid but then came the birth of my identical twin boys! Sadly, he never got to meet his grandsons Edward and Joseph, who were born 15 months after he died.
“Dad was a fighter and we ended up spending three to four days sleeping overnight with him at the hospice when we were told it was nearly the end.
“When he died our wider family were able to visit and we were all given the time and space we needed thanks to Ashgate. We’ll forever be grateful for everything they did for him.”
Glen, who was born in Sheffield and grew up in the Gleadless area, moved to Eckington in his 20s and went on to work for Sheffield City Council and Derbyshire County Council as a senior administrator and manager.
As well as being a celebrated rounders player, he was also an established non-league footballer and represented the world’s oldest side Sheffield FC and second oldest Hallam FC.
The route of Adam’s walk has been inspired by Glen’s life and will pass places he worked, lived, liked to visit and played sport, including Matlock, the Peak District, Sheffield and more.
Meanwhile, the rounders challenge will be hosted at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield and supported by Rounders England and the Sheffield City Trust.
Adam said: “To set a rounders world record would be a perfect way to honour my dad’s remarkable contribution to the game.
“Rounders was such a huge part of his life so a Guinness World Record in his name would leave a real legacy and write his name in the history books.
“It’s going to be tough for the same group of 30 people to play continuously for 24 hours but that’s why it’s a challenge, and motivation won’t be a problem with who we are doing it for.”
“It promises to be an action-packed summer and I’d love to raise £10,000 for the hospice in total.
“The challenges will give us the opportunity to give something back to the hospice and make a lasting positive memory of Dad and Ashgate.”
Ashgate Hospice must raise £9 million over and above NHS funding in order to fund its services for patients in their own homes and at its site in Old Brampton, Chesterfield.
To find out more about Adam’s challenges and to make a donation to his JustGiving click here.
If anyone wants to get involved with the walk or the rounders event, they should contact Adam directly, message @GlenOxley6424 on Twitter or visit the ‘Glen’s Ashgate challenge’ page on Facebook.