Belfast Telegraph

Right royal backing as legendary athlete homes in on target

Claire Williamson

By Claire Williamson

Princess Anne said she had no doubt Dame Mary Peters would raise £1m for her charity before her 80th birthday, because when "she says she will do it, it will happen".

The Princess Royal is the patron of the Mary Peter's Trust and has a long established relationship with her stretching back over four decades.

Princess Anne officially launched Dame Mary's Race to a Million campaign in 2015.

Speaking at the event in London last night, she said it will broaden the sports community in Northern Ireland and produce more top athletes.

Princess Anne said that when they need backing, the Mary Peter's Trust will be vital.

She added that she was in no doubt that Dame Mary would reach her target before her landmark birthday in July.

She said: "This race to a million is doable because I know when Mary says she will do it, it will happen."

Princess Anne said that Dame Mary has been creating a legacy since she first created the trust.

She added: "Every time I go back to Northern Ireland, I see more facilities, better quality facilities and you open the paper and you see more success in a different range of sports.

"Most of that can be laid firmly at your door and in your inspiration and your success in passing on that inspiration has been key to this trust.

"There will be lots of young people who haven't even thought of doing sport yet who will be able to take advantage of your commitment to the future, to where people's ambitions might take them or feel they might be taken.

"We all owe you a debt of thanks for what you have achieved with the trust and this is very good of you to allow your birthday to be used in that way.

"The success will be a present that you will enjoy. I'm sure you will make it and others will do that for you."

She said she hopes Dame Mary will then enjoy "what will be a very happy day" when she reaches her target.

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