This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon saw a record 40,382 competitors undertaking the gruelling 26.2 miles and University of East London(UEL) students and staff were out in force to offer their support.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were present to start the event and to support a charity close to their hearts; Heads Together, the official charity of the year for the London Marathon. For the UEL students, it was a case of supporting not one but 6 separate charities at once; Barnardo's, Marie Curie, Oxfam, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and The Cardiomyopathy and Lymphoma Charities. All are incredibly worthy causes and over 300 runners passed through on the day, experiencing recovery sports massage and recovery advice from the students.
Michael Cole, UEL Senior Sports Therapy Lecturer, Programme Lead and the logistical mastermind behind the operation said;
‘Our entire level 4 cohort worked, with students from Levels 5 and 6 returning again to help out, and 5 members of staff supervising. It took weeks of planning to ensure transport of massage tables, resources, and administration. This enormous and complex task was only possible due to the amazing efforts and dedication of our students and staff. It was my personal 8th year in succession with Barnardo’s, and we were located this year in the luxurious surroundings of the Waldorf Hilton Hotel at Aldwych’
Maddie Crowther, Events Manager, Barnardo's clearly felt that Michael and the UEL team had done a wonderful job. She said:
“A massive huge fantastical THANK YOU to you, your team and your students for yesterday’s London Marathon. Our runners were over the moon that they got their much needed massages, and yesterday seemed like a tough one for a lot of them. But as always your students were brilliant with every single one of them. Thanks a million once again!'
It was indeed a tough day for the inexperienced runners with some spending over 8 hours on the streets of London. Katie Moore, Events Co-ordinator, Barnardo's HQ said:
‘The faces of relief on our runners' faces when we mentioned a massage make you and the team being there so so important! ‘
For Michael, it had proved a very rewarding day. He said:
Our students were fantastic and it was great to see them develop skills in soft-tissue therapy, recovery advice, communication and interpersonal skills, and clinical governance, including treatment records and health & safety. This type of experience is vital in preparing undergraduates for the profession, and as a bonus they get to be part of one of arguably the best sporting day of the year, whilst also supporting charitable causes.
Thanks Michael for getting in touch and well done to you and your students and staff. We would love to hear more inspiring stories from the 2017 London Marathon. Did you run in it? Did your university, like UEL, provide support to a charity? Did you personally help out or answer last minute calls to go along and help a charity? Did your clinic provide support? Whatever you did, we would love to hear from you. Tell us about your day.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Maggie on 01582 808271 or tweet us @theSSTofficial