There are limited entries available for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k. Enter now to guarantee your place on the start line at: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k

A group of 20 players and staff from Bristol City Under 18s will take on a 10k challenge for a local children’s hospice before returning to watch their team play in the final game of the season.

The large group of players were inspired to raise money for Children’s Hospice South West in Charlton Farm after a recent team visit to the centre.

The group decided to take on a 10k challenge to dispel the negativity around modern day footballers and to give something back to the Bristol community.

The players will all be running the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k on Sunday 7 May in their Bristol City football kits, before heading to Ashton Gate to watch the senior team play Birmingham.

The players will also be joined by members of the backroom staff including the club’s safeguarding officer Jen Owsley.

Jen, who also tutors the under 18’s team, said: “As part of the young players scholarships, they undergo football and education programmes.

“They read a book about the All Blacks rugby team leaving a lasting legacy and it inspired them to want to do something to have a positive response about football culture. “The first team support Children’s Hospice South West and so we thought it would be a great idea to get the youth team there for a visit. It was the first time we had done something like that.

“These guys are in the best physical shape and I think the fact that they were visiting children who basically go to that centre to die had a lasting impact on them.

“They decided that they really wanted to raise some money to be able to provide the hospice with some form of equipment.

“We know that running a 10k for the boys is something that they may not have a problem in completing because they probably run that amount in one match, however they wanted to do something together to build on team spirit.

“There will be a big group of us and hopefully we can raise more awareness about the amazing work that the hospice does.”

The group will join 13,000 others for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k when it returns to the city this May.

The 10k is one of the most scenic events in the country, with participants travelling along the Avon Gorge and pass under the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Participants then return into the city centre to cross the finish line seeing cheering friends, families and supporters.

The event is close to reaching capacity, with limited places remaining.

U18 captain Harvey Smith, from Portishead, will be among the group. He has just been awarded a professional contract with the club.

Harvey, 18, said: “We visited the hospice we were able to see the wonderful facilities and support they provide and meet the dedicated staff and volunteers.

“The visit brought home to us just how important the fundraising is as it helps the children and their families deal with their end of life experience, it was very humbling.

“Lots of footballers have a bad reputation and that all they are interested in is spending their money so we thought it would be a good idea to show that footballers aren’t all like that.

“We feel fortunate to have this opportunity and want to give something back to the community.

“All footballers want to win so I am sure there will be some competition between us when we take on the 10k, but we want everyone to see we are a united team so will be trying our best to stick together and run the whole thing as a group.”

Support the Bristol City Under 18s team here.

There are limited entries available for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k. Enter now to guarantee your place on the start line at: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k