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Deeping United joint manager Ian Abbott is raising funds for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Football boss Ian Abbott has swapped his tactics board for running shoes in a bid to raise funds for charity while highlighting the benefits of fitness during the third national lockdown.

Abbott - who is co-manager of Peterborough League Division Four high-flyers Deeping United - is hoping to swell the coffers of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) charity.

He is aiming to run 200km in February for the Head to Toe initiative that supports the front-line NHS staff during the Covid-19 crisis.

Ian Abbott (44238835)
Ian Abbott (44238835)
Ian Abbott (44238835)
Ian Abbott (44238835)

Ian plans to run three half-marathons and cover nine miles on alternate days over the next month and is relishing the challenge ahead.

He explained: "I managed to complete 228km during January in 16 runs which was the most I have ever done.

"A lot of people were asking why I was doing it and whether I was fundraising for a charity.

"I was just doing it for myself, but then I thought it would be good if I could raise a bit of money as well.

"The CPFT charity is very relevant at the moment because the NHS staff are working tirelessly to care for us, our families and loved ones during the Covid-19 crisis."

With the Peterborough League football season suspended due to the pandemic, Ian also feels that working on a fitness plan is important for your mental health.

He bravely spoke out a couple of years ago about his own mental health issues and feels his current regime has been a massive boost during the pandemic.

Ian added: "I have had problems with my mental health and I can definitely vouch for what I am doing now.

"It has kept me positive and it is goal setting with realistic aims. It is also good for you and setting myself fitness targets has definitely helped me and I can stand by that.

"It's about getting out and trying to do whatever you can in these times because it can make a world of difference.

"I like it that much and it's got to the point where I can't miss the days I set aside for running. It's a good sign that I've got to that point.

"This is also about raising awareness of fitness in lockdown because it will do you a world of good for your mental health."

Anyone wishing to sponsor Ian can visit his JustGiving page.

Deeping United look set to have smashed the £6,000 mark after launching a fundraising drive in memory of staunch supporter ‘Dutch’ Holland who is the father of club vice-chairman Matt Holland.

‘Dutch’ passed away after a hard-fought and lengthy battle with Covid-19 and United decided to raise money for the doctors and nurses who cared for him in the intensive care unit at Peterborough Hospital.

Parents and players of the club walked or ran as many miles as possible during January to raise the funds with Matt personally passing the 150-mile landmark over the weekend.

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