Charity teams prepare for Chariots of Fire 2008

The supported charities for Chariots of Fire 2008 are entering wholly into the spirit of the event by participating in the race themselves.

 The charity relay race, based on the famous film which details the exploits of the 1924 British Olympic team, has become something of an institution in the local community. 

Romsey Mill and Red Balloon - Cambridge are the two charities chosen to receive the sponsorship funds from this year’s event. Romsey Mill provides services for disadvantaged young people and families in Cambridge facing poverty, isolation and exclusion, whilst The Red Balloon Learner Centre helps badly bullied children. 

Red Balloon – Cambridge is entering one team into the race. Jessica Lechner, team manager and Co-ordinator at the charity commented, “As one of the recipient charities for Chariots of Fire, we are delighted to be able to participate in the race. It is going to be a lot of fun and as the team members are all staff at the charity, we know what a huge difference the sponsorship money will make for the charity.” Red Balloon – Cambridge was set up to provide an educational provision for children who are so badly bullied they are too scared to go to school. 

They can take up to fifteen children aged between 10 and 17. Jessica continued, “Extreme bullying can leave children feeling sad, depressed and angry and the Learner Centre helps to restore self-confidence, self-esteem and the capacity to trust others. We also support the children in their return to mainstream education and onto further employment.” “We will use our share of the sponsorship to finish some building projects for the students, an extension to the science laboratory and wooden workshop in the garden used for construction work, electronics and modelling.” 

Organisers, leading business and financial advisors Grant Thornton UK LLP and leading law firm Hewitsons, along with co-sponsors The Cambridge News, are hoping for a record sponsorship total from this year’s event. “We are delighted as we now have more team entries in than we did at this stage last year, so the entry rate has gone up. We encourage teams to start raising sponsorship money as early as possible,” said Charles Hewitson, Race Director and Partner at Hewitsons. 

Laragh Jeanroy, Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP added, “Both charities are doing a fantastic job of providing vital care and services in and around Cambridge and getting involved in Chariots of Fire is great way of being able to help out.” The relay race will take place on Sunday 21 September from Queen’s Green in Cambridge and encompasses a scenic route through the town centre, King’s, Clare and Trinity colleges and along the backs. 

For further information on the event and the charities, please visit the website at Photo of the Red Balloon Chariots team: Back row left to right – Jessica Lechner, Lucy de Havas, Cathy Pompe Front row left to right - Helen Archer, Sarah Phelps, Doug Bristor