Fundrun with Scouts – 27 September 2014


This lunchtime, I was pleased to join Furze Platt, my native Scout group, for their hour-long stint at the Maidenhead Fundrun.

Organised by the Lions Club of Maidenhead, the annual fundraiser works in a similar way to the January Swimarathon event. Teams from local schools, charities, and other organisations are assigned individual lanes at the Braywick Athletics Track, with participants taking turns to complete a half-lap. In the past, I’ve run for St Luke’s and, in 2010, to raise money for my Jamboree adventure when our team comprised only four members. In contrast, today’s relatively strong showing from FPSG meant I didn’t have to contribute quite as many laps as I have done previously.

I was the first of our team to take the baton, and immediately found myself up against strong competition.

I was the first of our team to take the baton, and immediately found myself up against strong competition.
[PHOTO: Simon Smith]

Sadly, across the event group involvement was down. I must say I felt sorry, in many ways, for the Lions Club, whose considerable efforts in organising the fundraiser were undermined by this year’s poor participation levels. One of the volunteers to whom I was speaking at the start-line looked distinctly crestfallen: “We’ve only had seven teams enter,” she told me, “so we’re only down here for a couple of hours this time.” Later, another Maidenhead Lions Club member warned my mum that the future of the Fundrun is in question.

That, I think, would be a shame, given all the runners (and their lively supporters) looked to be having a great time. Yes, many of them were only there because they’d been dragged along by pals, parents, or belligerent Scout leaders. But even the lad who, at the beginning of the afternoon, made it quite clear that he’d willingly cheer on others but not actually run himself, broke his steadfast resolution when he saw how much fun the rest of us were having.

Truly: this afternoon, the fun was put into fundraising. I hope we will be able to try beating our team’s 66 laps next September.

Already over £250 has been pledged to the Furze Platt team. If you would like to sponsor Andrew, he would be glad to accept any donation: monies will be split between the Furze Platt Scout Group and the Lions Club’s own charities.

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Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.