Social Responsibility


Purple Wave

Wed, 25 May 2016 09:37:00 BST

A huge well done to the 1,114 staff and students who completed the Great Manchester Run as part of the first ever University Purple Wave – and generated thousands of pounds for charity. The total currently stands at £59,512 and money is still pouring in.

Proud to be purple is how our students and staff felt on Sunday (22 May) having finished the Great Manchester Run as part of the first ever University Purple Wave.

The initial idea came from Mike Gibbons (Director of Student Recruitment and International Development), Kersti Borjars (Professor of Linguistics) and Vicky Foster-Lloyd (Head and Sport and Active Lifestyles). Vicky put her SPORT Manchester team at the helm, in partnership with Students’ Union, to bring the concept to fruition with a target of 1,000 runners generating £100k for Charity.

The Students’ Union student fundraising society, Raise and Give (RAG), have been working hard with all the runners to hit the target. The total currently stands at £59,512 (as of Monday 23rd May) and donations are still coming in.

The largest individual fundraiser is currently Steve Pettifer, raising nearly £1,500 and the largest group fundraiser has been the University Women’s Hockey Club who have raised over £3,500.

Six months of preparation included seven additional weekly running sessions for the 646 students and 468 staff that had registered to race along with lots of meetings and emails between the Great Run Team, Students’ Union, Student Communications and Marketing team alongside several other University teams.

Sunday arrived and the purple runners congregated in the Renold building on the University campus and University supporters walked up to the Purple Cheer Point on Chester Road. There was a real buzz on North Campus, seeing the purple stream line the streets of Manchester and hearing the cheers from everyone supporting, filled students and colleagues with great pride.

SPORT Manchester aim to engage more people in sport and physical activity and are in their 3rd year of being a successful Sport England University Activation Funded Institution.

This event hit those notes with 901 race finishers, 409 of which were new to running. Special mention goes to Gary Rowlinson (staff) who finished in 35:04 and Dan Pettitt (student and Treasurer University X-Country Club) with a time of 36:06 and Anne Kenchington finishing in 39:04 and Sinead Sweeney with a time of 39:39, who are both students and members of our University X-Country Club.

Naa Acquah, General Secretary for the Students’ Union, said: "Getting people together to enjoy physical activity is not only great for student’s wellbeing but gives them the opportunity to try something new. This was my first time ever running and the 10K gave me the push to try it. I may not have been the fastest runner but the sense of achievement of going out of your comfort zone is fantastic. It was a wonderful day and I can’t wait for next year, to get even more students and staff involved, especially those who like myself have never run before."

One University Professor who achieved a time of 53.50 stated: "The fact I would be running with 1,000 others from the University is what inspired me to do it. I'm much less tired and have lost a silly amount of weight through doing this."

Vicky Foster- Lloyd said: "To line up on the start line with over 1,000 colleagues from across the University community, all in purple t-shirts is a memory that I will never forget. Many of the runners had never taken part in this kind of event before and with over 400 stating they were new to running. To know that we have inspired so many people to get active and raise money for worthy causes is so pleasing and demonstrates what a great place the University of Manchester is."

If you want to be kept up to date with information about becoming part of the 2017 event (Sunday 28 May) we are taking expressions of interest.

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