AN OLYMPIC champion from Newport is taking part in a walk of the Wales Coast Path to raise £1 million to improve cancer research in Wales. 

Athlete Jamie Baulch is walking part of the Wales Coast Path in support of a fellow Welsh sportsman who has recently been diagnosed with incurable cancer.

The former Welsh sprint athlete and TV presenter is one of several Welsh celebrities signed up to support former Welsh Rugby Union commercial director Craig Maxwell, who was diagnosed with incurable and inoperable EGFR lung and bone cancer in 2022.

Mr Maxwell has launched the Wales Coast Path Cancer Challenge to raise £1 million for the Maxwell Family Genomics Fund, a fund as part of Velindre Cancer Centre.

The 26-day challenge will see people from across Wales walk 780 miles of the coast path, to represent the 78 days it took him to receive his diagnosis from the point of finding his tumour.

It is being done in 26 days to mirror the QuicDNA project, a genomics research project to reduce diagnosis time for lung cancer patients to a maximum of 26 days.

Mr Maxwell is hoping to sign-up 30 people to each day of the walk, and Mr Baulch is encouraging people to join him on his leg. Mr Baulch is taking part on Friday, March 8, with weather presenter Derek Brockway, where the route starts in Swansea and finishes in Porthcawl.

A match rugby ball will be relayed the entire distance of the challenge, symbolising Wales’ collective fight against cancer and it will culminate at the national stadium of Wales, the Principality Stadium, on March 10 for the Wales v France Six Nations clash, where Mr Maxwell will carry the match ball onto the pitch.

Acknowledging the unpredictable nature of his ongoing treatments, Mr Maxwell will be joined by a different Welsh celebrity every day of the walk, so that regardless of his ability to walk, he will have a representative to take on the challenge.

A number of Welsh celebrities are signed up to take part, including TV presenters Derek Brockway and Wynne Evans, together with former rugby players Sam Warburton and  Jamie Roberts. 

Mr Maxwell said: “We are embarking on a monumental challenge to symbolise hope, resilience, and unity, and raise over £1 million for the research and development of new and innovate cancer testing and treatments in Wales.

"It will be our most ambitious journey yet as we strive to create a community united against cancer across the length and breadth of Wales.

“Cancer has touched our lives, challenged our resilience, but it will not define our future. This event will see people from all over Wales stand united, not just as individuals but as a formidable force against cancer.”