EVENTS – Socially distanced relay

Much planning and re-planning later, I had a provisional route. I then plotted it on Map My Run ( to see how long the route was in total. Rather satisfyingly, it was exactly 10km! We kept parents updated on

progress and encouraged them to collect sponsorship for the event. We use Virgin Money Giving for donations and sponsorship, so each family was able to set up a fundraising page for their child, and promote it to family and friends. We also received £100 from a parent on behalf of his business. The next job was to walk the route

to see if it worked. Happy that it checked out, we shared the map with those taking part, along with a spreadsheet with each numbered leg described. We also shared the route map on our PTA’s Facebook group and a couple of local community Facebook pages, so people in the neighbourhood would know what was going on and hopefully come out and support the children. Each relay leg was numbered

consecutively, from one to 50, and to help us keep track of progress on the day, we numbered the children too. I designed a runner number, and emailed one out to each participant, to be printed out and pinned onto their T-shirt on the day. We were blessed with beautiful

weather on the morning of the relay. Our PTA Chair and I met runner number one at the start, ready for the relay to begin at 10am. I broadcast the start of the relay on our PTA Facebook group using Facebook Live, then followed the progress of the children on WhatsApp and in person, where I could, making sure I was at the school gates for the fi nish. We had all year groups represented, from Early Years to Year 6. Some of the children sprinted their leg, while others took a more measured approach. Between them, they ran the 10km route in 48 minutes. The relay was a resounding

success, and we received so many positive comments from parents and supporters afterwards. In particular, the Year 6 children and their parents were really thankful that they had

48 AUTUMN 2020


where you want the fi nish point to be. Set yourself a target number of relay legs you want to fi ll, and put out a message to parents to gauge interest. Agree a date, ideally on a day when people are likely to be free from other commitments and when traffi c shouldn’t be too busy (a Sunday morning works well).

1 2

Set up a means for parents to register their children for the relay,

making sure you collect contact details and consent for videos and photos to be taken of all participants, specifying where these images might be used. Keep taking registrations until you have enough runners to fi ll the number of relay legs available. If possible, have a few ‘reserve’ runners as well, in case participants drop out.


Start mapping out your route, working it around participants’

home addresses where possible. Plot these on your map and work out how best to link them together so each child has a reasonable distance to run. Publicise your event and start collecting sponsorship.

4 5

Check your route works in real life before sharing it with participants and the wider community.

Make sure every family knows which part of the route their child

is running, and where they need to start and fi nish. If possible, have a WhatsApp group, or some other means of immediate communication, set up for use during the race. Numbering the legs of the relay and the runners really helps. Ask parents to take photos and videos of their children.

6 7

On the day of the event, make sure the fi rst runner sets off on time,

and take a video. Monitor progress so that any problems, such as missing runners, can be dealt with quickly. Make sure the runners of the fi nal leg are met at the fi nish.

Collect together photos and video clips and make a fi lm of the event.

Each participant and supporter will have only seen a small part of the relay, so it’s a great way of celebrating the event as a whole. Thank everyone for participating and supporting, share the video and the sponsorship total!

Decide the area within which you are going to stage your event, and

the chance to take part in one last primary school event – something they’d thought could never happen. I collected photos and video clips

of all the children who participated, and edited together a video of the event. This was uploaded onto our Facebook group, and was also really well received, as it gave people a sense of how the whole relay fi tted together and highlighted what an amazing coordinated achievement the event had been. The fundraising total was certainly something to be proud of as well, as we made an incredible £5,265.73!’ Sarah Everson, secretary, Friends of Halsford Park School, East Grinstead, West Sussex (420 pupils)

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