Footballer Rosie Hughes will be taking on a unique sporting challenge next month.
Rosie, 24, who plays for Denbigh Town in the North Wales Women’s League, will run a half-marathon barefooted to raise funds for a local family traumatised by two house break-ins which have turned their lives upside down.
She will tackle the 13.1 mile distance without footwear on November 7.
Explaining why she had organised this testing fund-raiser, Rosie said: “I want to raise awareness and funds for the two children, both under 12, who have seen their safe haven, their family home be destroyed not once but twice.
“Their psychological and emotional mental health was affected the first time their home was destroyed. Now their anxieties have rocketed the second time around.
“They have watched their parents work 24/7, 365 days a year to protect us, the public and our families.
“And in return they have their livelihood destroyed. I want to prove to these two lovely children and their parents that they don’t need to live in fear. They don’t need to sleep with the light on, they don’t need to panic every time the doorbell goes.
“I will complete this half marathon to prove that there are good people still among us and we appreciate everything their parents do on a daily basis to keep us safe.
“There is no place like home, but for this family their home is the last place they want to be. No-one should feel this way.”
Rosie has been running for the past two years, having completed a number of 5k and 10k races and a half marathon. But she has never run without shoes.
She added: “I had been away camping with my partner where we met a group of people. We were having a B-B-Q and a few drinks and throughout the night one of the lads in the group kept telling me he had climbed Mount Snowdon with no shoes.
“We were both kicking a ball to each other with no shoes on and he was very proud that he had achieved this climb. This is what inspired me to do something similar. I enjoy running but I have never enjoyed it as much as I do without trainers on.
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly nervous. However, now I have been training for the past six weeks. It is building my confidence and the pressure on my soft feet is easier.
“I have been reading books about barefoot running and also following Facebook pages to help me on my journey. I currently have a ‘JustGiving’ page and a Facebook event both of which you can find with my ‘noshoeshughes’ tag.
“I am going alone when it comes to barefoot running, however I have the support from my amazing mama Mandy Bowler who will be running the whole half next to me – in trainers of course.
“I also have the support from my local running club Porth Eirias Runners (PER) who are hoping to run some if not all of the distance with me. I have lots of nieces and nephews who I am sure will join in for some fun.”
The family Rosie is supporting were broken into around 12 months ago and everything in the house was stolen.
Around seven weeks ago it happened again, only this time the house was also smashed to pieces, including the children’s rooms.
Rosie said: “It’s been a lot of emotional trauma for the family. I am raising money for the children so they can use it to go on holiday or have some quality time together as they all deserve it.”
A target of £500 has been set by Rosie, but of course she would be delighted to raise more.
She says the family she is raising the money for are private people and would prefer not to be named, although they are immensely grateful to anyone who contributes.
Rosie’s JustGiving page link is https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/noshoeshughes?fbclid=IwAR1_Xjmzoe_qO3nm-K25z329WX8esfI-457oX2lKvPXuUPcjB5XuFULOkKU
Or access her Facebook page Jà Hës Rôhùgsië