Let’s tap into the pos­i­tive in city

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - PAUL STAIN TONF -

As Benny Hill might have once said, knock­ers are ev­ery­where these days. You pick up a pa­per and Piers Mo­ron (oops) is al­ways rant­ing about some­thing or some­one, forc­ing his nar­row view of the world down other peo­ple’s throats.

Katie Hop­kins, the big­gest self-pub­li­cist since, er, Piers Mo­ron (oops), shouts op­po­site and in­flam­ma­tory points of view from ev­ery me­dia ori­fice; ev­ery in­cen­di­ary ut­ter­ance is in­tended to in­flame and upset – it’s so neg­a­tive and so pre­dictable.

On so­cial me­dia, face­less TV ‘stars’ whose only skill is be­ing semi-fa­mous, of­fer mar­riage guid­ance ad­vice to Coleen Rooney. You know the world has gone to hell in a hand­cart when Katie Price gives her view on the Ryanair saga, in be­tween bouts of plas­tic surgery.

This is the world we have cre­ated, a place where ev­ery­body, how­ever ridicu­lous, how­ever un­fairly pes­simistic, can spout their un­con­struc­tive di­a­tribe. It seems many peo­ple have for­got­ten how to be pos­i­tive, how to cel­e­brate the good, as well as the ugly in life.

So, let’s start the up­beat fight­back right here with an event that show­cases the best of the hu­man spirit, the best of com­mu­nity – the Perkins Great East­ern Run.

A record turnout, saw al­most 7,000 run­ners pound the streets of our city cheered on by thou­sands more from the pave­ments and verges around the course. The gen­eros­ity of spirit is over­whelm­ing; so many do­ing some­thing for oth­ers, for causes, char­i­ties, lost friends and fam­ily; eve- ry­body do­ing some­thing for some­body else, a real com­ing to­gether of the very best of the hu­man con­di­tion.

My com­pany, ps me­dia, was film­ing the of­fi­cial video for the race and hope­fully you, your fam­ily or some­one you know will be in it and in­spire oth­ers to par­tic­i­pate next year.

This event re­ally is Peter­bor­ough at its very best, bringing dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties to­gether for a com­mon pur­pose, but whilst I want to re­main pos­i­tive, I think it could be im­proved upon.

Like Perkins, many lo­cal companies do get in­volved and help spon­sor and sup­port the race but I think many, many, more could play their part too.

Thomas Cook could give away hol­i­days to the char­ity with the most peo­ple in fancy dress. Mar­shall’s could do­nate a Beamer to the per­son who raises the most money for good causes.

For smaller companies to get in­volved they could pay into a cen­tral char­ity pot and in re­turn be al­lowed to cir­cu­late their wares amongst the crowd and around the course.

Out of town, elite ath­letes could be at­tracted with big prizes for com­plet­ing the main race in un­der an hour and once all those en­tice­ments have swelled to run­ners to over 10,000, TV would then be in­ter­ested in film­ing the race, and fur­ther help­ing put this city on the map for the right rea­sons.

The Great East­ern Run is beau­ti­ful and big but there is huge po­ten­tial out there for it to be even big­ger and even more in­clu­sive.

It’s time to tap into this pos­i­tive, Peter­bor­ough, phe­nom­e­non and use it as a force to do even more good.

For­mer BBC Ra­dio Cam­bridgeshire host Paul Stain­ton writes for the Peter­bor­ough Tele­graph

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