The Mississippi Million: A lasting legacy for Right To Play
29 July 2015
Nearly twelve months ago, Right To Play UK’s outgoing Chairman, John Pritchard, embarked upon an incredible journey: he and his Challenge Crew rowed an astonishing 2,320 miles in 86 days down the length of the mighty Mississippi River. Now he’s determined that his feats leave a lasting legacy.
The Mississippi Million challenge was inspired by Richmond, a little boy from Ghana. John was visiting Right To Play programmes at the Three Kings School for children with learning and physical disabilities, when the lively young boy caught his attention.
"I noticed Richmond on the edge of the playing field. He had Down's syndrome and at ten-years-old - the same age as my son - he was half the size of the other boys," says John. "His personality is what really shone through. We struck up a friendship immediately and as he sat on my knee with his arms around my neck, I realised how much love and support this exceptional young boy needed. He made me realise I have a duty to try and do something that will make a change for children like him."
John and the team completed their journey on October 6th last year and their Herculean achievement has raised over $1 million for Right To Play.
John is hugely appreciative to all those that have supported him and the Challenge Crew. Their generosity has made a huge difference to the work that we have been able to achieve. But he also recognises that the job isn’t finished yet. “I can't thank you enough for helping me to reach my goal of raising a million dollars for a charity I love,” John says. “Yet, sadly, there is still much to be done. I firmly believe that Right To Play is uniquely placed to use the power of sport, games and play, to equip children and young people with the learning, health and social skills they need to succeed despite their difficulties.”