Welcome relief from Leeds Beckett students at the World's largest half marathon
Now an established event, student volunteers and accompanying staff members, have been volunteering at the world’s largest half marathon for several years, providing much needed relief to participants running on behalf of: St Gemma’s Hospice, The MS Trust, Marie Curie, Leonard Cheshire, Toma Fund Charity, Martin House Children’s Hospice and Heel and Toe children’s charity.
Professor Ieuan Ellis, Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, said: “Volunteering to support key charities at the Great North Run has now become an established annual event for our sports therapy students and staff. From modest beginnings a few year ago where just a handful of students provided post-run massages to runners for one Leeds-based charity, we now have a whole coach-load of students and staff making the early morning start from Leeds to South Shields to provide professional support to a growing number of charities.
“Each year I receive wonderful letters from these charities praising the commitment and professionalism of our students and expressing on behalf of 100’s of charity runners, thanks for the support they have received from our students and staff.”
Volunteering is widely encouraged at our university, with many options available for students to get involved. Kate Randerson, Senior Lecturer in Rehabilitation and Health Sciences, added: “It was a very early start for the level five and six BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy students who volunteered to travel up to South Shields but it was an incredibly enjoyable and positive experience for all involved and we were very proud of our students for all their efforts. Their enthusiasm, humour and professionalism was noted by everyone they came into contact with and they were excellent ambassadors for our University.
“All in all it was a good day, what with us seeing Mo Farah cross the winning line, a spectacular aerobatic display by the Red Arrows, having photos taken with Marie Curie Daffodils and legendary GB athlete Colin Jackson - oh and the sun shone!
“More notably, it was a great fundraising day for all the charities who each expressed their thanks to the students for giving up their time. Their support was also greatly appreciated by the runners - it provided an added incentive to cross the finish line and achieve their goals and sponsorship monies.”
Leeds Beckett student Georgina Henry, said: “The day itself was a great experience and taste of what the future will hold for us students. I enjoyed speaking to the athletes and hearing their differing opinions on how the race went. The athletes were beyond grateful for the massage and this made me feel appreciated and that I had done my job justice.”
Abi Eagles, second year Sport and Exercise Therapy student, said: "I found the Great North Run really beneficial as it gave me a good insight into what field I could potentially go into after I have graduated. It was a fantastic day and a great opportunity given to us by the University. I would happily do it again."
To get involved in any of our volunteering experiences visit http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/studenthub/volunteering/