Aims of the Richmond RUNFEST
We hope the Richmond RUNFEST will be a corner stone of the community for long-term fitness, good will and a symbol of fun. In order to achieve these goals we have set ourselves some aims that little by little we hope to fulfill. We want to share our aims with the community so if you think you can help assist any of our aims with ideas or advice please get in touch. We don't bite!
a) To improve the overall standard and status of community running in the Borough of Richmond Upon Thames and surrounding areas by bridging a gap between one-off running and all year round running. We aim to link closely with local running clubs and children's clubs to get people into regular sporting activity.
1 in 6 Londoners are obese and on current trends, 50% will be obese by 2050 (Source:NHS London; GLA). Opportunity for The Borough of Richmond Upon Thames to highlight key messages from their Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) to the local community.
The Richmond RUNFEST would give the Borough of Richmond Upon Thames a London 2012 legacy sporting event. Whilst running is witnessing a boom in participation, club and young athlete numbers are dwindling. Our vision aims to increase club membership for running clubs and utilise the traditional club support structures available where a wealth of advice, friendships and community spirit resides. By supporting local clubs, new club members will feel empowered to remain healthy and utilise these valuable local resources all year round.
The festival builds on the strength of other local health and fitness initiatives such as 'Run England' and 'Parkrun' a free Saturday morning 5k that has grown to 250 weekly events worldwide with its origins in Borough, click here find out more about our running clubs.
b) To reach young people across Southwest London and connect them to sport in an effort to find the next Mo Farah. We are committed to delivering a sporting legacy for young people in Richmond post 2012, and we would like assistance in bringing back a culture of competitive sport in schools (part of the Government's Olympic Legacy plan).
Our vision is shared with Olympian Mo Farah’s Physical Education (PE) Teacher who actively encourages the building of strong community links:
“I want more young people to take part in competitive sport. Schools are part of the answer but we also need better community links with parents and sports clubs in the community who can share our fight and help change this current cultural problem. Mo Farah had the potential and through the work of myself and his local running club’s coach we were able to change his life and send him in a positive direction. Hopefully a community event like the Richmond Running Festival can help encourage the next Mo to join a local club and kick start the 2012 legacy.” Alan Watkinson, Mo Farah’s PE Teacher and Feltham & Isleworth & Syon School Sport Partnerships Manager.
Children/youth events are an integral part of our proposal to inspire these mini athletes to get involved with their local running clubs. Outside of the school environment and with family and friends cheering them on, the event will be a great introduction to club athletics. Local sponsors for these races will provide the top runners with free membership to their local running club and we hope to inspire children that even though running is tough, it is also rewarding and full of life lessons!
c) To help raise money for Richmond Upon Thames Borough charities. We will have a preference to charities involving children, health care and sport and fitness.
10% of the race entry fee (plus additional contributions and Gift Aid) will feed directly to our two official charities the Victoria Foundation and the Kew Foundation. Last years race saw a total of over £155,000 raised for charity, 7 of these charities were Richmond Borough charities that altogether, raised £65,000. This year we aim to raise £250,00, total monies raised will be released in Jan 2016.
d) To help boost tourism in the Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, we will advertise the beauty and history that exists in the borough.
The Borough of Richmond Upon Thames is a gem in London’s’ crown. With the history of Richmond intertwined with our proposed route we aim to advertise the best Richmond has to offer and invite all runners to return to us throughout the year via cross business promotions and festival attendance by local businesses and charities.
The inspiration of the ‘Festival’ came from the ‘Richmond May Fair' held annually on Richmond Green. Richmond’s local offerings and community spirit on that day are enjoyed by all. We will be working closely with independent shops, restaurants, and pubs in the area to join in the celebration on the day. We would like to recreate the same spirit in this festival and encourage local businesses to get involved.
e) To inspire local residents to volunteer, and to encourage social change through our charity and kids' program.
If London 2012 taught us anything it showed that as a nation we hold the greatest volunteers in the world. By offering volunteering opportunities the event will strengthen the social sector by increasing active roles through encouragement and enablement. This can be delivered through key partners such as schools, charities, volunteering providers and local athletic clubs.
f) To celebrate the Borough of Richmond Upon Thames rich Olympic heritage and assist the Council so that the Borough makes the most from its 2012 legacy promises.
We are not an official London 2012 legacy event (yet!) but like many who watched the Olympics we were inspired and believe that the summer of 2012 can live on in spirit. We aim the memories of 2012 will live on through the Richmond Running Festival until the Olympic Games returns to London for the next generation to enjoy!
g) To have fun, and provide happiness through the medium of sport.
If London 2012 taught us anything it is that sport is fun and a celebration of life. There are many running events in the UK and I believe with your help we will look back on this in years to come and be proud of the many achievements we were able to accomplish. In 1979, the London Marathon was created after a training session pint of bitter in the Dysart Arms next to Richmond Park. Hopefully together we can create another event that will have the same impact that was conceived over a beer in Richmond!