Sport Relief raises a record £53.4m so far

The former Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton (pictured) and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, were among the famous participants at this year's weekend event

Victoria Pendleton
Victoria Pendleton

This year’s Sport Relief weekend raised a record £53.4m, £1.3m higher than at the same stage two years ago.

A Sport Relief spokeswoman said that the event had raised £53,370,743 over the course of the weekend, compared with £52,070,587 at the same stage in 2012, when the event last took place. The 2012 event went on to raise £62.5m.

This year’s figure includes more than £2m raised by the TV presenter Davina McCall in her BT Sport Relief Challenge, in which she ran, swam and cycled 450 miles from Edinburgh to London.

Sport Relief 2014 incorporated the first Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, in which more than one million people around the UK participated to raise funds through events such as running, cycling or swimming.

Famous participants included David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and his wife Samantha, the former Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton and the former Olympic rower James Cracknell.

A fundraising night on the BBC on Friday featured the footballer David Beckham taking part in an Only Fools and Horses sketch and a Strictly Come Dancing Paralympians special, which was won by the wheelchair athlete Hannah Cockroft.

Kevin Cahill, chief executive of Comic Relief, which runs the initiative, said: "We would like to thank the British public for their extraordinary compassion and generosity. They continue to amaze us and we’re forever in their debt. The money they’ve donated will change lives both here in the UK and across the world."

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