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City Year takes on the TCS Mini London Marathon 2023!

The TCS Mini London Marathon was back for the second time on Saturday 22 April and over 10,000 children, of all abilities, registered to take part in the event. As TCS’s chosen charity of the year, we had the fantastic opportunity to attend, and so a team of City Year UK staff and volunteers accompanied over 120 pupils from five of our partner schools to the race.

With their running shoes on and laces tied, the students hit the pavement, completing a 2.6K lap around The Mall and St James Park, which ended at the iconic London Marathon finish line in front of Buckingham Palace. As many of our young runners had travelled from Manchester and the West Midlands, this was a great opportunity for them to see the sights of the capital and take part in a sporting event.

Every pupil who finished the TCS Mini London Marathon received a £10 voucher for their school to spend on new sports or IT equipment. Together with TCS, we are working to promote young people’s wellbeing and encourage healthy lifestyles – and this race was a fantastic opportunity to help get us all active!

The TCS team made sure to treat our staff, volunteers, and young marathon runners like true champions! With medals hanging around their necks, the students got to kick back in the hospitality area and even meet a famous face or two… The English middle-distance runner and gold medalist, Jake Wightman, dropped in to take a few pictures with the pupils from Perryfields Academy.

Mel Lowke, a teacher from Perryfields Academy, commented: “Saturday was an amazing experience for all our students to remember forever. It has also inspired several older students to partake in the London Marathon! This was just a fantastic opportunity for our students as many haven’t been outside of Oldbury/Birmingham, so seeing London for the first time was an eye-opening experience for them.”

Most importantly, the TCS Mini London Marathon allowed City Year to bring together team members from across the UK, along with trustees and our corporate partners so that everyone could see our changemakers in action!

Our weekend of sport and celebration did not end with the Mini Marathon. On Sunday, two members of the City Year family ran the London Marathon while fundraising for our charity. Our volunteer mentor, Jake Sparks, ran his debut marathon in a very respectable 4 hours and 35 minutes.

Jake said: “I am running to show gratitude for City Year and the positive impact they have had on me, such as building my confidence and soft skills. City Year has enabled me to have the best impact on young students I possibly can!”

Aga Landowska, the Curriculum Enrichment and Careers Leader at one of our London partner schools Leytonstone School, completed the 26.2 mile in under four and a half hours – and raised over £500 for CYUK! Our funding pool now sits at over £3,500, and there is still time to raise more! Click here if you would like to make a donation.

A massive thanks to the TCS team and our partner schools (Perryfields Academy, Bolton St Catherine’s Academy, Leytonstone School, Oasis Academy Shirley Park, and Oasis Academy Coulsdon) for making the day such a roaring success! And for helping City Year strive toward our mission of tackling educational inequality. We can’t wait to see where these young marathon runners go next!

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