Why we’re Championing Chariots of Fire

The Chariots of Fire race will hold extra special meaning this year for one of the runners, having experienced first hand the fantastic work of one of the recipient charities, Cam Sight.

 Warren Wilson, a second year history student at Anglia Ruskin University first learnt of Cam Sight when he lost much of his sight whilst studying for his A’ Levels. 

An inspirational and driven person, Warren was determined to continue doing everyday things despite being newly visually impaired, such as using a computer, making a cup or tea and telling the time. And through the ‘top class’ support and help of the staff at Cam Sight, he can now do all these things - even continuing his enjoyment of cycling with his girlfriend on a tandem. And Warren’s enjoyment ofchallenges continues, in fact he actively seeks them out – learning Braille, trying blind tennis, playing the Paralympic sport Goalball with the Cambridge Dons Goalball Team and trying to set up a blind football team. But the challenges don’t stop there - Warren is also taking part in Chariots of Fire on Sunday 16th September where he will be running with a companion, saying “I have never been a great or keen runner but bring it on!” 

Warren said: “The fantastic help Cam Sight has provided me has been huge, without the team I would have struggled to get to the position I am at. Being visually impaired has not stopped me trying new things and taking part in Chariots and raising sponsorship is a great way for me to thank all the staff for helping me get much of my independence back. “The funds raised will really help Cam Sight extend its technology provision to a range of generations, further improving their self-sufficiency. In my experience technology has been key in helping me regain my independence and if Cam Sight can increase this already incredible service to more visually impaired people across the county then that is only a good thing.” This year, the benefactors from Chariots sponsorship doesn’t end with Cam Sight. 

Frances Cooper, Education Advisor and Ranger at CambridgePPF, the other selected charity, said: “With help from Chariots of Fire we’ll be able to expand our educational scheme, making it more accessible to larger numbers of school children as well as other specialist local groups. Our sites are ideal locations for learning, with thousands of children, countless families and walkers enjoying fun-filled educational activities up at the Gog Magog Hills under expert guidance from the charity’s enthusiastic team of field teachers and rangers.” 

Recently more than 90 children from Duxford Primary School experienced the charity’s education programme first hand. Suzanne Blackburne-Maze, Key Stage 1 Coordinator at Duxford Primary School, said: “Although we are close to Wandlebury many of our children had never visited the park so this was a great adventure, the children loved taking part in traditional outdoor activities. “Teaching is most effective when pupils are having fun and providing our pupils the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom, through practical open air investigations, is extremely powerful. The children learnt so much from the team. 

It’s great news that Chariots of Fire will extend the scope of this extremely valuable work.” According to Charles Hewitson, race director of organiser Hewitsons, “Both stories highlight the tremendous work and complete dedication given by all staff at CambridgePPF and Cam Sight. I’m delighted that all proceeds from Chariots of Fire will be going to these charities and would urge everyone to register a team, get sponsored and come and join us for this most enjoyable and rewarding event.” This year’s race will take place on Sunday 16 September starting and finishing at Queen’s Green in Cambridge. 

To enter a team please visit the website www.chariots-of-fire.co.uk. For further race information email admin@chariots-of-fire.co.uk. If you are interested in The Cambridge Dons Goalball Team, contact Warren on cambridge.dons@gmail.com.