Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Wonderful Life of Chris Spriggs in Bidford



Those of you who have attended our Bidford Event will know how much important work Chris Spriggs does for Kids Run Free. Here he is with his wife Hannah

And here is Hannah with their three high-energy children aged 9, 7 and 3.

Chris and Hannah regularly bring them along to the Bidford event.

Even before he started volunteering for Kids Run Free, Chris Spriggs was no stranger to charities. His day job is running a mentoring charity that works with young people called Lifespace Trust, an organisation he founded 10 years ago.

Chris Spriggs became a Race Director in April 2014. The Stratford Event became unfeasible due to low attendance. However, Chris “could see KRF would work in Bidford” and he was indispensable for the move, handling all the promotional work, finding and motivating volunteers.

A major achievement was getting a grant from the local Warner's BUDGENS store, who will be supporting Kids Run Free for the next 6 months through their token scheme.

The Bidford event has an average of 35 children attending each month. This month over 30 Bidford children were at the “Festival of Running” at Edmonscote Athletics Track in Leamington Spa for “sunshine, smiles and lots of running.”
 
The “Festival of Running” was the third of Kids Run Free’s Annual Festivals and served to bring together all of Kids Run Free’s ten locations in Leamington Spa, including Chris’s Bidford event.

Chris Spriggs runs the Bidford event with the help of his family and he has even set up a Facebook page for it at https://www.facebook.com/kidsrunfreebidford?fref=ts. It’s regularly updated with news and events from Bidford. To find out what inspired Chris to throw his weight behind Kids Run Free, we interviewed him, so you can read Chris in his own words.

Where did you first learn about Kids Run Free?

I came across KRF from a leaflet in a café and Leamington was our nearest location, a 40 minute drive. I admit it took some dedication in the winter getting there through the snow to be on time each month!

What made you want to become a Race Director for Kids Run Free?

When Stratford KRF got underway we went a few times and supported it but the field was always flooded, parking was tricky and the numbers never really took off. Sometimes our 3 kids represented half the attendance. It shows that to make KRF work you need several things to come together, not just enthusiasm and dedication, but the right infrastructure of support, existing links within the community and practical things like easy parking and an easy to find sustainable venue. I could see KRF would work in Bidford. There is a strong community of families and The Meadow has this perfect triangular area for our runs! I wanted to give more kids the chance to experience running as a positive thing, and to have fun with their parents/carers (we always finish off with a parent and child race!) 

Why are you so passionate about Kids Run Free?

I'm a big fan of KRF. I love the enthusiasm for kids having the chance to run to their hearts content, in a safe supervised setting. They can race if they want to, but applauding them for participation is just as important. Children and running go hand in hand. At Bidford we always say there are 3 prizes for every child who runs: a sticker, having your name cheered on by all the adults, and that great feeling of satisfaction that you've done your best!

Yours Dashingly, Dash

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