Earlier this year, the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile, which took place at St Nicholas Park in Warwick on 20th March 2016, saw local people running one, three or six miles in aid of Sport Relief. The money has been counted up and the Warwick Sport Relief Mile organised by Regency Runners raised a total of £6643.77.
This year’s Sport Relief was a record breaking year with the campaign raising a whopping £72.5 million. The money raised will help disadvantaged people living incredibly tough lives, across the UK and the world’s poorest communities.
Tina James, a leader at Regency Runners, said “We are delighted with the total amount of money we have raised this year. It’s brilliant to have been part of such a successful Sport Relief year and know that we are helping to make a difference to people’s lives.”
Jess Kirke, Events Manager at Comic Relief, said, “We want to say a huge thank you to all of our local mile organisers. They work tirelessly to organise successful events up and down the country and we are truly grateful for all their efforts and hard work – Sport Relief wouldn’t be the event it is without them.”
Back in July 2015 we were approached by Sport Relief to ask if we would host the local event – the Warwick Mile – for March 2016 (the council had recommended Regency Runners to Sport Relief). Of course we said yes, then it was a big step into the unknown for us!
I chose St Nicholas Park as it seemed perfect, having a ready made mile loop and is easily accessible. We undertook a few chilly site walks, planning where everything would go as well as some panics along the way, with the odd sleepless night, to bring everything together.
I became a regular on social media with daily posts and Tweets to local media. The other leaders were somewhat concerned about my addiction to monitoring the numbers signed up (it was not on an hourly basis, honestly!). As the publicity continued to gain momentum, we were approached by BBC Coventry and Warwickshire for someone to go on the radio. Helen bravely stepped up to the mark and it turns out she is a natural on the radio! Although she told us she was shaking, it really didn’t show.
On the day all our hard work came together and the Warwick Mile was absolutely amazing. 339 Runners, which was amazing as I had been asked to set target number back in July so pulled 350 out of thin air. Regency Runners’ fantastic members turned out to marshal and cheer on the runners, sell cakes, help set up and clear away, always with a smile. The music and MC Todd added to the fantastic atmosphere. The Mayor and her dog joined in the warm up! We had serious runners, people doing the distance for the first time and walkers. Some in fancy dress too! Lina brought a smile to the runners’ faces by motivating and running in with them at the end.
Can’t wait till June when we find out the total raised by all the runners for some very worthy causes.
We were contacted by Sport Relief to thank all at Regency Runners and to say how impressed they are by the numbers we got on the day for first time organisers. Oh, and they would like us to do it in 2018!
The conversation started ‘we have been approached by Sport Relief and asked if we would host the event in 2016 ……..’ I went cold. To say paperwork is my weak point is somewhat of an understatement and this event would generate plenty of it. However the strength of the Regency Runners team is that we are a team and others took on the paperwork while I wrestled with annotating the course map.
The choice of venue was obvious. A pre-measured mile around St. Nicholas Park. We are all for an easy life and things were made easier still by the generosity of the Leisure Centre in loaning us tables and the use of their electricity.
We promoted the event on social media, through local running groups and we even took over Park Run one week to get the message out. Helen was fabulous at letting folks know how to sign up on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio. Tina hysterically kept us up to date with the number of runners signed up (not quite hourly!) but this provided a great opportunity to tease her.
As a way of including the community, I approached the 9th Warwick (Emscote) Beavers, Cubs and Scouts to help out by handing out water, which they did with enthusiasm, only throwing a little over each other (by accident, I’m sure). When I asked one of the scouts for his opinion of the event, he excitedly commented on how fast the winner was, how fast the first woman was, how many children were taking part and how good the cake was. On that final point I agree with him, with RR members and friends really stepping up to the challenge and baking loads of yummy treats.
My over-riding impressions of the day: everything that could go well did go well. The RR runners all helped with marshalling (thank you). Lina ran or walked the finishers home with her fantastic enthusiasm. Lots of runners who had just completed our Learn to Run course ran three miles (cue lots of applause). Family and friends all turned out to help. So, another conversation has started, “We have been approached to organise Sport Relief in 2018 ……” Well, it would be a shame to let that paperwork go to waste!
There are just two weeks to go until the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile in Warwick on Sunday 20th March. Loads of local people have already signed up to run one, three, or six miles, but there’s still time to bag a place, don your deeley-boppers and do yourself proud!
Regency Runners said: “We are delighted that so many people have already signed up but we want even more people in Warwick, Kenilworth and Leamington Spa to take part and make it the best Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile yet. So let’s show the rest of the country what we can do and raise as much money as we possibly can for this incredible cause!”
This year’s Mile will take place at St Nicholas Park with everyone meeting at the side of the leisure centre. At 9am registration will be open for those entering on the day and the run will begin at 10am. The route will take you along the river with views of Warwick Castle. The route is a mile loop.
In February, marathon man Eddie Izzard embarked upon his staggering attempt to complete a gruelling 27 marathons in 27 days across South Africa for Sport Relief. This epic challenge will see Eddie aim to run over 700 miles in temperatures of up to 30°C, tracing the story of Nelson Mandela’s life. Comedienne Jo Brand ‘did herself proud’ by taking on a Sport Relief Challenge which seen the 58-year-old walk an incredible 150 miles, coast-to-coast across the country from Hull to Liverpool.
On Friday 18th h March the BBC will treat the nation to a special night of Sport Relief TV, with James Corden’s character ‘Smithy’ making a big comeback and announcing his intention to run for FIFA President. In an exclusive sketch for BBC iPlayer, some of footballs greatest names will come out in support of Smithy’s vision for the future of the beautiful game, including; England World Cup winning hero Sir Geoff Hurst, Brazilian football legend Pele, England icon Steven Gerrard and the ‘Special One’ himself, Jose Mourinho. In the spoof sketch, Smithy shares his dream for the future of the game and how he believes it can restore itself to its former glories on the world stage. His announcement will go live on BBC iPlayer at 7.15pm on Saturday 20th February before being shown during the Sport Relief Night of TV on BBC One on Friday 18th March from 7pm.
Then, on Sunday 20th it’s over to you in Warwick to come together and take part in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games. Now it’s your turn to get sponsored and help transform the lives of people living here in the UK and around the world. Enter a running event now at Warwick Sport Relief Mile or at one of more than 500 locations across the UK at sportrelief.com.
“The Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile is back and it’s coming to St Nicholas Park in Warwick. Local running club Regency Runners is privileged to be hosting the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile on Sunday 20th March, and needs local people to come together and make themselves proud by entering now at www.sportrelief.com.”
Regency Runners invite you to do your Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile at St Nicholas Park on Sunday 20 March 2016. Put on those trainers and ask family and friends to dust off theirs for a run, jog or walk (or even a hop, skip or a jump).