Barrie Wells has been supporting leading British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson in her pursuit of sporting glory since she was 15 years old. So, when Barrie decided to create his own charity to help other deserving young people, Katarina was keen to get involved.

The Barrie Wells Trust provides VIP experiences for seriously ill children and their families at major sporting and entertainment events though its Box4Kids initiative. Katarina hosted the charity’s first Box4Kids event at Anfield back in 2010. Since then, she has helped to host many VIP experiences for the charity and continues to support Barrie’s work through her role as Patron.

“Being the Patron of the Barrie Wells Trust is a real honour with the fantastic work Box4Kids has done for nearly 5,000 seriously ill children and their families. Seeing Box4Kids grow from Barrie’s box at Anfield into 75 major sports clubs and arenas has been a privilege, as has hosting the kids in Barrie’s box on many occasions … seeing the effect these days have on the children and their parents is just amazing.”

Thanks to a box donation from British Athletics, Barrie is looking forward to welcoming more young athletics fans from London hospitals to see Katarina in action at the Müller Anniversary Games this weekend. Having recently moved to France to train, Barrie went out to visit her to see how preparations were going.

“It was great to see Barrie when he came to visit me in France. We had a big catch up and he watched me train with my new team and new friends. For the past eight years he’s provided such incredible support and become a very close friend of mine.

The new environment here in France really has been the motivational boost I needed, and I was so happy to beat my personal best in the prestigious Gotzis heptathlon in May. I’m now training very, very hard to beat it again in the World Championships in London in August!! But until then I’ll focus on the long jump and 100m hurdles at the London Diamond League in July. Onwards and upwards!”

If you are an executive box holder who could help Box4Kids make more special memories for seriously ill children, please do get in touch.