Date: 14 October 2019
A three-year sponsorship commitment from Dover-based ferry operator DFDS has boosted the port town's athletics community as well as the funds of the primary school in Temple Ewell village.
It led to an all-new event, the Temple Ewell 10k run on Sunday (13 October) starting and finishing at picturesque Kearsney Abbey, with the £4,000 profits going to the Temple Ewell Church of England Primary School PTFA fund.
PTFA chair Vicky Chambers said: "It's a small school and we are always looking for funds to help, raising more than £4,000 last year – when we also refurbished the kitchen. The idea for the run came from knowing that Dover didn't have its own running event, while most of its neighbouring towns do.
"But it had to be something different to attract interest, because most runners already have their programme of events mapped out in advance. We hoped by offering a multi-terrain route, we might get our new event off to a great start – helped by DFDS's backing for at least three years."
The running community liked the idea too, as the target of 300 entrants was reached easily, coming from all over Kent and even far beyond – one runner travelled from Leicestershire.
After some words of wisdom and a great send off from local hero and 1976 Olympics Team GB marathon runner Barry Watson, also a former teacher at the Temple Ewell school, the pace slackened early for the steep gradient to Scotland Common, which then opened onto a flatter route on the Minnis and around Ewell Minnis, before the descent back to the abbey.
But the mixed route earned a thumbs up from locals and visitors alike: "It was lovely to have an event on our own doorstep and it was an excellent course," said Ladies' V35 winner Rachel Tappenden (Dover Road Runners) who covered the 10k in 51m 42sec. She and fellow club members Chris Kirby and Claire Harp agreed that it would be good if it became a regular fixture in the regional running programme.
Sue Buddle of St Margaret's Bay was so impressed by the idea that it became her first ever running event: "I go to the gym twice a week and my trainer, Kate Excell, suggested I give it go – "You'll be fine," she said – so I did, and loved it."
Joint Race Director Glenn Mousley said: "The race ran smoothly despite wet conditions underfoot. We spent a considerable amount of time on the course the day before, spreading straw to improve grip for the runners and this paid off with some excellent performances. It's a new race and we were really pleased with the support from local runners. We look forward to welcoming them back next year."
Medals were awarded to all participants, while the trophies were presented by DFDS Vice President Kasper Moos and Temple Ewell C of E Primary School Head Teacher Angela Matthews.
"DFDS is delighted to support an event that delivers a double benefit for the Dover community where we are based," said Kasper Moos. "And I must congratulate the enthusiasm of the runners in such overcast conditions."
And Temple Ewell's Head teacher Angela Matthews added: "Our school is very much part of the local community and this was so evident on Sunday. We are hoping to use the funds raised to develop our outside areas around the school to enrich and enhance the children's daily experience."
1-Andy Stevens (Thanet Road Runners) 38mins and 31secs
2-Ben McGhee (Deal Tri Club) 38:53
3-Kevin Hart (Dover Road Runners) 40:16
1-Becks Macey (Ashford & District Road Runners) 47:00
2-Abigail Cardwell (Thanet Road Runners) 47:49
3-Essen Larsen (Ashford and District Road Runners) 50:27
Age group winners as follows
Men V40 Ashley Day (Unattached) 40:40 Men V50 Edward Crockett (Deal Tri Club) 43:33 Men V60 Mark Sluman (Dover Road Runners) 47:20 Men V70 Dave Martin (Deal Tri Club) 1hr:00:02
Ladies V35 Rachel Tappenden (Dover Road Runners) 51:42 Ladies V45 Abi Coleman (Dover Road Runners) 52:05 Ladies V55 Vicky Talbot Rosner (Invicta East Kent AC) 53:14 Ladies V65 Barbara Hunt (South Kent Harriers) 1:22:17
For further press information, please contact:
Steve Loader / Michelle Ulyatt / Sandy Fleming
T: +44 (0) 1304 807744
DFDS is Northern Europe's largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of around 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships.
DFDS prides itself on offering world-class facilities and services and the widest choice of ferry routes into northern Europe.
In the UK, the company operates passenger ferry services on routes from Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk, Newcastle to Amsterdam and Newhaven to Dieppe.
DFDS has been named 'Europe's Leading Ferry Operator' for eight years running (2012-2019), as well as the 'World's Leading Ferry Operator' for the last seven years (2011-18).
DFDS currently operates up to 54 sailings a day between Dover and France on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes. DFDS also offers two daily sailings between Newcastle and Amsterdam. In addition, the DFDS network includes a passenger and freight service between Newhaven to Dieppe, which has four daily sailings and is operated by Transmanche Ferries.
For further information about DFDS, or to find out about the latest sailing times, fares and offers across all routes from the UK, visit www.dfds.co.uk