An Oswestry tennis coach who set himself the goal of running 1,000 miles for Hope House Children’s Hospices has smashed his target despite injuries and lockdown interrupting his plans.

Blake Strefford, 24, who is head coach at Oswestry Team Tennis, started his challenge in May last year and got off to a flying start taking part in regional races such as the Shrewsbury Half Marathon and the Oswestry 10K.

But injury in the autumn meant his November and December total came to less than 40 miles as he aimed for rest and recovery.

“I had a quiet November and December due to injury but was able to pick it back up in the New Year thankfully and was able to complete the miles,” said Blake.

“During the end of my challenge we were in lockdown and that meant there were no races to help toward my miles, so it was solo runs unfortunately.

“I wanted to raise £500 for Hope House Children’s Hospice because they do amazing work in our local community. Now more than ever, with fundraising events being cancelled, they need donations to continue their great work in these difficult times.

“If anyone can donate any small amount I know it would be greatly appreciated.”

Hope House Fundraising Team Leader Lynsey Kilvert said: “Blake has done amazingly well to finish such an incredible challenge during lockdown. It can’t have been easy to carry on running all those miles on his own.

“We are so grateful for the money raised, which will be a great help in funding the vital services we are continuing to provide to terminally ill local children and their families during these difficult times.”

You can support Blake’s fundraiser for Hope House online at: