Opera superstar Katherine Jenkins will cheer on thousands of runners at this years HSBC Cardiff 10K Run when the award-winning mezzo-soprano starts the annual Kidney Wales Foundation fundraiser in Sophia Gardens on Sunday, September 7.

It will be the Welsh stars first official engagement for Kidney Wales after accepting an invitation from the charity to be its newest patron. She joins the charity’s longstanding patrons Max Boyce and Gerald Davies.

Katherine said: I’m very proud to be a patron of the Kidney Wales Foundation. To support a cause so close to my heart is very special to me.

I first became involved with the charity in 2005 when I met brave Zowiann Flood at the Children’s Kidney Centre in Cardiff. She was only 10 at the time and desperately needed a kidney transplant. Her bravery was such an inspiration to see and we have been friends ever since.

Kidney Wales work is vital in providing support to families and funding research and improvements to kidney care and treatment in Wales. So many lives are affected by kidney disease and dependent upon Kidney Wales help. I hope my patronage of the charity helps make a difference to these people’s lives.

Talking about her first official engagement with Kidney Wales at next months HSBC Cardiff 10K Run, Katherine added: I’m really looking forward to starting the run and can’t wait to see lots of kindhearted people coming together in the name of the charity. It’s going to be a wonderful day that thanks to the generosity of people across Wales will help raise life-saving funds for Kidney Wales.

Alan Jarman, Chief Executive of HSBC Wales and Kidney Wales trustee, said: We are honoured that Katherine has very kindly agreed to be our new patron. Her involvement and support with the charity sends a huge message of hope to those affected by kidney failure and we look forward to welcoming her at our fundraising run in September. Her presence on the day really will help to encourage more people to take part.

Roy J. Thomas, Chairman of the Kidney Wales Foundation, added: Katherine is kind and generous and seeing her with patients shows that she really does care.

Since its launch in 1985 around 30,000 people have entered the HSBC Cardiff 10K Run, either raising money for charity of just for fun.

Thanks to its fast, flat course the race is open to runners of all fitness levels and abilities and perfect for those looking to set a new personal best or run their first ever 10K.

And they’ll be lots for families to enjoy on the day too including food stalls, a live band and free face painting.

All entries receive a free race pack including a T-shirt, while those that finish the run are awarded a medal and goody bag. Entry this year is just