Olivia races past fundraising goal for cancer charity

A little girl with Olympic-sized dreams has used her athletic ability to raise funds for charity.

Olivia Hayman
Olivia Hayman

Earlier this month nine-year-old Olivia Hayman, from near Craven Arms, challenged herself to complete a triathlon, a duathlon and a 5km run to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Olivia took on her challenge from July 3-5, and via an online donation page has raised £610 for the cause – 406 per cent of her initial £150 target.

Inspired by his daughter's commitment and athleticism, Olivia's father Darren took on part of the challenge with her, completing his first ever duathlon.

Olivia's mother, Moray Hayman, was proud to see both her daughter and husband doing their bit to support the charity.

"Seeing them compete together was something very special," she said. "Olivia dreams of one day being in the Olympics. From a really young age, her athletic ability was spotted at her school.

"She was asked to compete at the age of five, running cross country against other schools. In her first ever race she came sixth out of 100 runners – even at such a young age!

"Four years on from this, she trains 12 to 15 hours per week and does between 25 and 35 miles running and biking per week. She is an avid Ludlow Junior Triathlete, and is asked to represent her school most terms."

Olivia did encounter setbacks earlier this year when two bowel operations led to concerns she would not be able to race again for some time. Four weeks later though, Olivia was training again for a succession of races arranged for 2020. Unfortunately these had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Even aged nine, this mentally really took its toll," said Moray. "But in June we came across a Castle Triathlon series which she enrolled in straight away. By the end of June she had raced in a duathlon and in 2.5km and 5km races.

"The bug was back but this time she wanted more – more races and more focus as to why she was doing it. So we set up a Just Giving page to raise a target of £150 the week before her weekend to race where she had signed up for a triathlon, a duathlon and a 5km race.


"In a few days with the support of her friends and family and her wonderful school, Olivia quickly smashed her target by over 400 per cent, totalling £610.

"She had two podium finishes – first place in the triathlon and second place in the duathlon."

Olivia has also inspired her little sister to follow her athletic lead, she says.

"She is a true inspiration and pushes herself everyday", said Moray. "She even has a 'mini me' version hot on her heels with her little sister Willow watching her pure determination and focus to excel in athletics. I am sure Willow will be following in her big sister's footsteps."

Wanting to continue fundraising, Olivia has signed up for further races for which online donations will again go towards Macmillan.

"Olivia is wanting to push herself even more and has signed up for a another series at the end of July and her first 10 kilometre race as well as the virtual children's Leeds Marathon," added Moray.

"She would like to see her donations to Macmillan Cancer Support continue rising."

Olivia's online donation page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/livvyanddaz

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