YMCA East Surrey’s annual Fun Run went virtual for the second year in a row at the beginning of May.
The event, which is usually held in Reigate’s Priory Park on the Bank Holiday weekend, kick-started a summer of fun-filled fundraising for the local charity. Eager fitness fanatics who wanted to take part were invited to run or walk either one or five miles during the first two weeks of May.
134 challengers signed up for the Virtual Fun Run with many sending photographs to YMCA East Surrey’s Challenge team or posting them on social media to mark their achievements. To date, more than £700 has been raised through sponsorship.
7-year-old Khushi Rohit from Sutton was determined not to miss out on her fifth YMCA medal and tackled an enthusiastic one-mile route at an average running speed of 6.3 km/h.
“She was thrilled to raise £20 and extremely proud to receive her medal,” said mum, Asharani, who has herself taken part in a previous YMCA North Downs Trek.
“The Fun Run and Santa Run events have provided Khushi with beautiful childhood memories and she always looks forward to the next one.”
All money raised from YMCA East Surrey’s 2021 challenge events will go towards their new Life Change Fund. This fund will support a range of YMCA services, projects and programmes to help young people – particularly those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged – build the resilience, belief and confidence to overcome the challenges they have faced through the recent pandemic and beyond.
These projects will include a new £1.5m housing scheme in Horley for 12 young people aged 18+, youth work schemes aiming to reach over1,000 local young people aged 11–19, emotional wellbeing and mental health service supporting over 2,300 young people and a YMCA Young Volunteers Project.
“While we had everything crossed that we would be able to invite our runners and their families back to the 2021 YMCA Fun Run in person, it came along just too early in the year to safely manage alongside current government guidelines,” said YMCA East Surrey’s Chief Executive, Ian Burks.
“We made registration free for the Virtual Fun Run instead, to give everyone the chance to get involved, challenge themselves and have some fun.”
“And we’re thrilled that many of our other Challenge events will be going live again this summer. It’s wonderful to see how people are responding enthusiastically to these upcoming opportunities and signing up to walk, run and cycle in support of our Life Change Fund.”