John's Scot what it takes to go on the run for Children 1st

JohnMcGurkrunningWEBsmallEx-pat John McGurk is aiming to raise £30,000 for Children 1st by undertaking a 560 mile run between Germany and Glasgow next year – and he’ll do it all in his kilt.

“I may live in Germany but I’m still a true and proud Scotsman!” says John.

He and six others will aim to run non-stop from his home town of Osnabruek in Germany to Glasgow next June, pausing only on the ferry crossing.

“Health and safety means you’re not allowed to run round the ferry decks these days,” laughs John, “otherwise we would have done it.”

For the past 24 years the Glaswegian has raised nearly 1 million Euros for children’s charities across the world through his own charity association ‘Sportler 4 a children’s world’. The association has around 230 members and each year organises a running event from Osnabruek to a world-wide destination. This has taken John, himself a survivor of abuse, all over the world – to Africa, New York, Warsaw, and Jerusalem, Brazil. And next year he’ll come ‘back home’ to Scotland.

“It has been in my heart all the time to do something in Scotland but the time wasn’t right to do it – I had to be able to raise money,” he says. “The thing that really tipped it was I read that one in three children in Scotland live in poverty. I couldn’t get my head round that. It truly hurts me. I know these children have so much potential that is awaiting to unfold, they must be given the chance to do so.

“What happened to me will never go away. But it has made me determined to help kids who need someone to care for them.”

His ‘1 in 3 run’ will see each runner will cover the equivalent of a marathon a day and will raise money for Children 1st who work with vulnerable children, young people and their families.

“I chose Children 1st because they work with abused children and those whose lives are blighted by poverty,” adds John. “The work they do is all about helping children recover from trauma, or helping families who need support. That’s what needs addressed, and what I want to change.”

Alison Todd, Chief Executive of Children 1st, said: “John’s story is truly inspiring. Despite experiencing the worst abuse imaginable at the hands of those who were meant to care for him, he is determined to do all he can to support other young people who are facing adversity and challenge.”

To support John and Children 1st: