The compares were Natalie Cornah and David FitzGerald, who both entertained the public with their colourful humour and commentary. Some runners turned up in fancy dress and two even managed to bounce their way around the Sport Relief Mile on space hoppers.
Plymouth City Council organised the event, Sainsbury sponsored it and the day was hosted by the University of St Mark & St John. The University combined it with a Sports Club Open Day, in order to introduce children of all ages to a wide range of physical challenges. They offered fourteen different activities, the most popular of which were climbing, football and tennis, with the climbing wall being booked by noon. During the day it saw over 250 children and adults clamber to the top. The youngest climber was five years old and they belayed for a 49-year old.
One of the parents at the wall, Nick Shearing-Brown, said, ‘The highlight of the day has been watching my children enjoy sport. We ran with them during the Sport Relief Mile and then got them to try table tennis, climbing and netball at the Sports Club Open Day.’
Another Dad, Stewart Huython at the football astro-pitch said, ‘It has been a great family day for all ages and a chance for the children to play a variety of sport. Most kids wouldn’t normally get the chance to do so many activities. It means we can spot talent and get them out playing together, instead of staying at home using their consoles. It’s also great to see all ages playing sport together and girls joining in with football.’
Many of the runners enjoyed a free sport massage after completing the Sport Relief Mile. Among them was Councillor Philippa Davey, a regular user of the University’s Sport Therapy Centre who said, ‘The University has excellent facilities and great staff – they helped with me with my marathon injury and gave advice on preventing future reoccurrences. The service is really good.’
The University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Cara Aitchison said, ‘The University was delighted to host Plymouth’s major contribution to Sport Relief by hosting ‘The Plymouth Mile.’ Many of the participants braved the cold north wind to run the one, three and six mile courses around the University campus and the community spirit was fantastic. I was particularly impressed by the many very young children and disabled athletes that completed the course. Sport, physical activity and wellbeing are at the heart of life here on campus and it was great to be able to share our facilities and to showcase some of our excellent education and research in sport and exercise science and sports therapy. We look forward to hosting the event again in future years.’
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