IT’S been months in the planning – now Sport Relief is finally here.

A weekend of fundraising got under way in Hampshire today with a challenge to beat the £195 million raised nationally in 2012, the last time the event was held.

There are more than ten runs and swims taking place across the county that make up the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, a massive fundraiser to help disadvantaged people in the area, the UK and abroad.

There is a matter of hours before the runs and swims begin across the county, but there is still time to sign up on the Sport Relief website,

In Southampton the Sport Relief Mile through the city’s parks will begin at 11am in Guildhall Square on Sunday.

There will be warm-up sessions, student performances, cheerleading routines and stalls from local partners of Sport Relief.

An inflatable football pitch will also be there as well as Solent University’s Careers Coach.

Southampton Football Club mascot Sammy Saint will be popping in to cheer on participants, who receive a medal for crossing the finish line. Among dozens of other challenges taking place is Jessica Hatchett’s and Sheri Meadows’ attempt to bounce across Southampton on space hoppers tomorrow dressed in Sport Relief onesies.

The pair have already raised £3,000 and will be hoping for more cash when they set off from Asda in Chandler’s Ford at 10.30am on Saturday, embarking on the 5.3-mile journey to Skandia House in the city centre.

Today, Cream Hair Salon in Bedford Place are hosting a Sport Relief-themed Great British Bake off and will be taking donations in exchange for cake from 11am.

The county’s schools are also taking in part in all kinds of activities.

Bitterne Park in Southampton are trying to break the world record for longest continual human wheelbarrow walk.

Daily Echo:

At Sainsbury’s Hedge End there are lots of activities taking place, including cookery demonstrations by chef Kate McBain as well as a visit from professional motorcyclist Kyle Wilks.

While there are countless local fundraisers taking place, celebrities and sports stars across the UK have been getting behind Sport Relief too.

BBC One Show presenter Alex Jones has already raised more than £300,000 by attempting to climb 1,200 feet in her Against the Rock challenge to climb the face of M o o n l i g h t Buttress in Utah.

TV’s Davina McCall raised £760,000 by running, swimming and cycling from Edinburgh to London in just s even days.

Football legends Robbie Savage and Alan Shearer set a World Record by sitting on every seat in Wembley stadium, which holds 90,000, in their Battle of the Backsides challenge. Meanwhile, BBC Radio presenters Jo Wiley and Nick Grimshaw both took on huge physical challenges to raise cash.

The former spent 26 hours on a treadmill while the latter cycled 1,000 miles in 12 hours with help from friends.

TV survival expert Bear Grylls took to the skies for his Sport Relief challenge, abseiling down the BT Tower in London.

England football legend Gary Lineker, Lord Sebastian Coe, Ashes cricket hero Freddy Flintoff, comedians John Bishop and David Walliams, along with many others, are also playing their part in raising money for Sport Relief.

Get Involved

Daily Echo:

THERE’S still time to take part in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games. Visit to find out more.

RUN: One mile, three miles or six miles. Prices: Children £3, adult £6 or family price £15. Locations: Southampton from Guildhall Square, Romsey from near Mountbatten School, Winchester from Winchester Sports Stadium, Fawley from near Gang Warily Community Centre, West Meon GU32 1LH, Fareham from Everyone Active Leisure Centre.

SWIM: 1.5km, 2.5km, 5km or just simply swim. Prices: Adult £11, concession £6, team (max six people) £25 or team concession £20. Locations: Southampton at The Quays, Winchester at
River Park Leisure, Eastleigh at Fleming Park, Bitterne at Bitterne Leisure, Romsey at Romsey Rapids. Contact your local pool for their full times.

Show your support with charity get-up

Daily Echo:

YOU don’t even have to run, swim or cycle to help the Sport Relief fundraising effort, writes Daily
Echo sports reporter Peter Howard.

I pulled on the official onesie, socks, headband, wristband and more to give it a test run before
the activities got under way this weekend.

Whatever you may be doing as part of the fundraising, there is still time to get down to your
local Sainsbury’s, TK Maxx or Oxfam and buy the gear to show your support and raise cash for
charity causes in Hampshire.

I looked silly but, like numerous celebrities, buying the kit goes some way to helping people at
a disadvantage in the local area, the UK and abroad with a donation from each purchase going
to charity.

Even if you aren’t taking part in one of the runs, swims and cycles, a onesie would be perfect for a night on the sofa watching Sport Relief tonight.

Maybe you can entice your dog to the couch or on a walk with the Sport Relief dog toy thatcomes complete with a pooch-pleasing squeaker inside.

But for those of you that are pulling on your swimming costume or trainers for the many  activities, you can gear up, look the part and raise some cash for needy people.