I had offered to do a 24 hour treadmill run during 20th and 21st April as it coincided with the fundraising effort by the Southern branches of Sainsbury's for Goalball UK. Simon and the team would be visiting each of the branches to participate in each of the branch activities and for the general public to meet and chat them all.
Sadly, the 24 hour Treadmill challlenge wasn't sorted but some other activities were, for just the Saturday. As it was a Saturday I was honour bound to go to Reading Parkrun first. I was also meeting some twitter friends there. Tracey Moggeridge (Didcot) and Matt Robinson (North Devon), came to visit, and take part in, Reading Parkrun. We were due to have coffee, cakes and a natter after. Being good sports Tracey and Matt were happy to be coerced in helping out too, along with visiting staff and staff of the Calcot Sainsbury's to peddle, treadmill and row,under a gazebo in the foyer, much to the delight and amusement of shoppers. Our Paralympic Village! This was the feature to attract and encourage people to donate into our collection buckets.
Tracey rowed and Matt peddled..and I broke the treadmill! I suspect my heavy plummage was too much for the poor machine so I continued to run around the "Paralympic Village". I did this for about 5 hours, or more. Non stop. In my Ducksuit! There was music to dance to and keep us all in high spirits. Local friends came along to support. I used the power of twitter to remind and encourage locals to come along and support Sainsbury's, playing their part in supporting Paralympians and speifically Simon and his Goalball team.
Simon and his team arrived at 4pm, having toured all the other particpating branches. Despite their long day, the team had the energy and were willing to show off their skills on the bike and rowing machine.
Our wonderful Calcot Sainsbury certainly showed their commitment to the company's national promise, "We are proud to be the first ever Paralympic Games-only sponsor"
"We are committed to making London 2012 the best Paralympic Games ever. Making a lasting difference to attitudes towards disability in the UK and creating real opportunities for change in the lives of people with disabilities."
The staff, visitors and shoppers certainly proved their weight in Gold as a wonderful £1500 is expected to have been raised with the bucket collections at all of the participating stores. For me, I was rather delighted with the maths and gestimation that I had run 28 miles on the marble floors. I now know what a hamster in a ball feels like! Perfect long distance training both in mind, body and spirit. Olympian quality! And in Olympian Company!
A special thank you to Tricia Watkins, Michelle and the Girls at Calcot. You are all Super stars and this was a wonderfully organised and supported event. That's how to nurture community spirit, raise awareness, raise funds and show the caring side of a large corporation.