On Sunday the 23rd of April, a group of students and staff got up very early and travelled to London to watch the TCS 2023 London Marathon.
Our friends at VICTA, a charity supporting young people with vision impairment, kindly invited NCW students and staff to join them on the Finish Charity Grandstand of the London Marathon and experience the excitement of the one of the biggest sporting events in the British calendar.
The early start was met with excitement and elation and there was lots of singing on the mini bus journey to London! Students and staff then took the tube into central London. For some, this was the first time they had experienced the tube. A quick stroll across St James’ Park and it started to become busier with spectators. The group even managed a quick photo at the gates of Buckingham palace. There was a definite buzz of anticipation in the air.
Reaching the grandstand just in time for the first few elite runners to finish across the line, the group donned their VICTA t-shirts and were given poms poms to wave and clap banners to make a big noise as the runners came past!
The atmosphere was electric and everyone was on their feet singing and dancing to classics such as, ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Sweet Caroline.’ The group witnessed Sir Mo Farrah crossing the line for his last ever London Marathon where the crowds cheered the loudest ever. Next came the thousands of runners supporting many hundreds of different charities and good causes along with the VICTA runners who finished to great cheering from the VICTA group in the stands!
The group saw an array of runners in fancy dress. From helicopters, minions, dinosaurs and lumberjacks – the selection was amazing! They saw people carrying their babies across the line, runners being helped and held up by fellow runners and even people running whilst pushing wheelchairs. The group even tracked the husband of a member of staff that was running with a guide runner and happily cheered as loud as possible. It was an experience that staff and students will not forget.
A further treat was in store with an invitation to the breathtakingly beautiful building of The Reform Club to join VICTA staff and their runners for a cup of tea and a sandwich before embarking on the long journey home.
Our thanks go to VICTA for the wonderful opportunity to join them. VICTA is a national charity that provides support to children and young adults blind or partially sighted and their families.