LOTS of Santas have been seen running around the streets of Sussex recently, all taking part in a ‘virtual’ Santa Dash in aid of Rockinghorse
One of the highlights of the festive season in Sussex is the annual Santa Dash along Brighton & Hove seafront which regularly sees hundreds of Santas come together to run 5k for charity. Understandably this year is a little different but that wasn’t going to stop these dedicated fundraisers from getting involved.
Over 50 people have taken part in sponsored 5k runs around their local areas, raising money for Rockinghorse, the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, who has been the charity partner of the race since 2015.
The race is usually organised by Commonwealth silver medallist runner, John Gladwin. John said:
“I was delighted to help Rockinghorse deliver the Brighton virtual Santa Dash this year. It was their idea, and I am so glad they managed to get so many runners into the Christmas spirit in these times.”
Through rain, wind, and hail the intrepid Santas brought smiles and festive cheer to passers-by, managing to raise over £3,000 for the charity with their combined efforts.
This money will go towards the charities Christmas appeal which aims to support a range of different projects throughout the county. Projects like the purchase of specialist toy boxes for Seaside View Development Centre to help them carry on providing virtual play sessions for children with additional support needs. Or our specialist paediatric clinical psychologist who supports young cancer patients and their families to manage their emotional wellbeing from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.
Amongst the runners this year was Natasha Potter who had a great time running along Worthing seafront with her family. Natasha said:
“We ran on Saturday afternoon and raised £270 between me, my husband Anthony and my sister Samantha Selby. It was very wet he got hailed on most of the way but were really spurred on by all the car hoots and children waving!”
In Haywards Heath the St Francis Runners did their Santa Dash around the outskirts of the town, raising £250 between them. One of the runners, Lins Bains, really enjoyed the response they got.
“We all had great fun, lots of toots, smiles and waves while raising some money for this worthy charity.”
Lucy Pond, the Challenge Events Manager at Rockinghorse, was determined to organise a version of the race this year despite the challenges, she said:
“I’m delighted that we could still put on the annual Santa Dash even though it was a virtual one. The support was fantastic with many previous Santa dash participants signing up once again.
“It’s a fun way for people to get involved in festive fundraising and raise awareness of Rockinghorse Children’s Charity. Thank you to John Gladwin from Santa Dash Brighton for providing all the Santa Suits and medals this year.”
Throughout any normal year, Rockinghorse usually holds a range of event like this, where participants can undertake their own personal challenge while raising money for Rockinghorse. This year has meant that most of these have been cancelled but they are hopeful that 2021 will see their return.
In the meantime, you can also sign up for their Get Active challenge throughout January to get moving after any indulgence over Christmas! To find out more about this and the other ways to support Rockinghorse, just visit their website at: www.rockinghorse.org.uk.