Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

ON Sun­day, May 22 I joined more than 1.250 run­ners for the 2016 Ger­rards Cross Fun Run, which I learned is the town’s largest fundrais­ing event. With run­ners as young as eight years old tak­ing part, it is very in­clu­sive. Those who can­not run can still take part, walk­ing the 5km route, and I un­der­stand that some fam­i­lies can bring their very youngest mem­bers, trav­el­ling by pushchair.

Oth­ers may be ac­com­pa­nied by the fam­ily dog! This year there were races for chil­dren aged from four to nine, with chil­dren be­ing able to en­ter on the day it­self: a good way to en­cour­age those who want to join in the fun. This event brings to­gether far more peo­ple than the ones who take part, be­cause of the day of ac­tiv­i­ties which sur­round it, on the East Com­mon. The en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port of the crowd means a lot to par­tic­i­pants. There is al­ways en­ter­tain­ment aimed at the fam­i­lies who at­tend through­out the day. An event like this is a trib­ute to the or­gan­is­ers, who will al­ready be pre­par­ing for the 2017 run. Per­mis­sions have to be ar­ranged for road clo­sures, in­vi­ta­tions sent out to guests like Adrian More­house (the Olympic swim­mer mak­ing this year’s open­ing speech), gen­er­ous spon­sors per­suaded to give the event their back­ing. That is be­fore all the work in­volved as the reg­is­tra­tion of run­ners be­gins.

Like so many events it de­pends on com­mu­nity vol­un­teers, without whom it sim­ply could not hap­pen. What­ever they do, they are giv­ing to the com­mu­nity.

The good causes sup­ported this year are Med­i­cal De­tec­tion Dogs; the El­iz­a­beth Voaden Foundation which is a can­cer charity based in the South East; and Kids in Sport, which is based lo­cally at Saun­der­ton, so that help is fo­cused on young peo­ple lo­cally. In the past they have helped 400 chil­dren in care in Buck­ing­hamshire to take part in sports ac­tiv­i­ties. The week prior to the Fun Run saw forth­com­ing par­lia­men­tary leg­is­la­tion an­nounced to help the life chances of chil­dren in care –some­thing with which peo­ple from Ger­rards Cross have al­ready been in­volved.

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