Malta has joined the list of countries on Dan Thompson’s list as part of his quest to raise awareness about healthy living and tour all the countries that are taking part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A former businessman, the 53-year-old sports enthusiast yesterday ran from Ta’ Xbiex to Sliema and back – a total of 10 kilometres – as part of his ultimate aim to run 10km in each member country of the Olympic movement – 204 in all.

He has started off the challenge by running in as many Commonwealth countries as possible in time for the Commonwealth Games to fulfil the 2014 Challenge.

This is an official Commonwealth Games Legacy 2014 programme in which participants cover 2,014 km in teams of up to 10 people.

It is a not-for-profit programme run by Gold Challenge and follows a successful Olympic-inspired challenge held in 2012, in which more than 100,000 people took part.

Anyone can sign up at www.2014challenge.org, and those who cannot run the whole 2,014km, including children, can join in the Mini Challenge and cover 201.4 km.

The distance can be covered by running, walking, swimming, cycling, canoeing, horse-riding or through any other means of non-motorised travel.

Apart from raising awareness about the importance of sports, this challenge helps raise charity funds.

Yesterday, Mr Thompson was joined by local athlete and Inspire CEO Nathan Farrugia and two British High Commission colleagues, Veronica Stivala and Simon Lavender.

Mr Farrugia said it was a pleasure to combine sports with charity and raise awareness for those in need.

Sport was a perfect platform to engage people of any age and ability and more people needed to adopt sports as part of a healthy lifestyle, he added.

Malta is the seventh country that Thompson is running in and he is now headed to the Middle East to run in seven countries in one week.

After that, he will concentrate on other Commonwealth countries and visit Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific islands.

In 2012, Mr Thompson completed a challenge to try every different Olympic and Paralympic sport: 114 events in total, including show jumping, the high dive, white water canoeing, 10km open water swim, 150km road cycle, 50km walk, the marathon and the pole vault.

For more information e-mail on 2014@goldchallenge.org.

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