Runners in Olveston put their best foot forward for the slums

Gazette Series: Children at the start of their 1k Run for the Slum at Olveston Primary School on Saturday   GSR725H12 Children at the start of their 1k Run for the Slum at Olveston Primary School on Saturday GSR725H12

YOUNG athletes and their families pushed through to the finish line for slum dwellers at the Olveston School Fun Run on Saturday.

The second time was a charm for the 150 runners who were originally due to take part in the charity race in April but had to hang up their trainers unexpectedly because of the unseasonal weather.

This time around the sun shone on the village, allowing amateur joggers and philanthropists to rise to the challenge at last and raise a staggering £1,000 in aid of ARBAN UK, an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of Bangladeshi slum dwellers.

Organiser Saffia Bullock told The Gazette the fun run could not have been a bigger success.

"It was a really nice community event," she said. "There were lots of smiley, happy faces. The children were beaming. There was a fantastic atmosphere."

If most pupils opted to compete in the one-kilometre children’s race leaving their parents to get on with the more strenuous five-kilometre stretch, some sturdy and determined six-year-olds decided to show the grown-ups how it was done on the day.

The mother-of-three, whose children Tom, eight, and Ben, six, attend Olveston Primary School, added: "They did very well. Some of them were ahead of their parents. We were all very impressed with how fast the young runners completed the course."

The funds raised will go towards supporting ARBAN UK's clinic in the slums of Dhaka, where more than 600 patients have already been treated.

The Olveston School Fun Run was so popular that, at the public’s request, organisers will be turning it into an annual charity fundraiser.

"Lots of people were already saying they would do it again next year," Mrs Bullock said. "We are definitely hoping to make it an annual event."

To find out more about ARBAN UK and to make a donation visit www.arban.org.uk or www.oldburyschoolfunrun.org

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