St David’s Day Run 2018 gains momentum with support from Welsh MPs

10th January 2018 Hannah Lovelock

St David's Day Run launch at Westminster

With thousands of people due to take part in the 16th St David’s Day Run in Cardiff on Sunday 4th March 2018, preparations are well under way for the capital’s second biggest run. On Tuesday 9th January a presentation at Portcullis House, Westminster, by the Motivational Preparation College for Training (MPCT), who organise the event, saw a fantastic show of cross-party support for the annual run that celebrates Welsh culture and encourages a healthy lifestyle and healthy communities.

MPCT held the launch to raise awareness of the event and the charities it supports with the backing of a number of MPs, including: Chris Evans, MP for Islwyn, who is sponsoring the event and is helping to raise awareness of the race; David Davies, MP for Monmouth; Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales and MP for Monmouth; Nia Griffith, MP for Llanelli; and Gerald Jones, MP for Labour all supporting the launch.

The principal speaker at the launch event was Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales. Mr Cairns is hoping to take part in the run himself on Sunday 4th March. He also recognised the high level of cross-party support for the event in the capital of Wales as a positive contributor to healthy lifestyles and communities. Mr Cairns commented:

“It was great to meet members of the MPCT today and I was deeply impressed by the participation, outreach and dedication of the team. Anyone that is touched by the college, or the Trust is achieving positive outcomes for community and society. Now in its 16th year, the St David’s Day Run is a great event that unites communities and raises money for local charities, it’s great to see it going from strength to strength.”

MPCT MD and students with Secretary of State for Wales and Nia Griffith MP

The St David’s Day Run highlights and celebrates the Welsh national holiday - St David's Day and raises vital funds for charities, with the 10K run being affiliated with the Royal British legion. Over the years, the event has gone from strength to strength and has raised thousands. It has also become part of the calendar of events for The Motivation & Learning Trust - the young person's charity and 5K run affiliate. As the run takes place on the weekend closest to St David's Day, it always attracts some fantastic costumes and allows runners to take in some spectacular views of the capital whilst running around Bute Park. The St David's Day Run has always been a family day out offering a 1K, 5K and 10K races to suit all ages and abilities.

Chris Evans, MP, first found out about the St David’s Day Run when he was taking part in another run across the Severn Bridge in Wales where he met Huw Lewis MBE – the Managing Director of MPCT. The chance meeting has led to the pair working together to raise awareness about the St David’s Day Run as a key event in the Welsh calendar and a great way to encourage healthy lifestyles and tackle the obesity levels in Wales. Mr Lewis commented:

“Right now we are in an epidemic of childhood obesity. As we all know, this brings with it the associated health implications, which will significantly reduce the life opportunities and life expectancy of our generation in our retirement.  I feel that the only way to make a significant difference is to ensure that we educate today’s generation through activities such as the St David’s Day Run and learn to develop a lifelong love of sport.

I wanted our students to gain an understanding of the consequence of a healthy lifestyle through planning and participating in a premier national event. By our students taking ownership of the event it encourages them to take pride in preparing physically and ensuring that they are as thoroughly equipped as possible to perform on the day of the race.”

MPCT’s staff and students, from across the 25 centres in England and Wales, run the event and the students also take part in the run.

Two students from Newport Military Preparation College attended the launch and delivered ice-breakers and an overview of the event to the invited guests. The two young men, Mr Nothnagel and Mr Smith were excellent in their delivery and were really proud to be chosen for the task. After they delivered the presentation to the Secretary of State for Wales and the Welsh MPs and guests Mr Smith said:

“I was really nervous to start off with but after a few minutes I felt fine and it was actually quite fun and the guests in the room were all really positive. It was amazing to be in the Houses of Parliament delivering to the Secretary of State for Wales and the MPs. I can’t think of any students in any other college who would have the chance to do what we just did. We are very lucky to be part of MPCT.”

Mr Smith and Mr Nothnagel, MPC Newport students

Runners of all ages and abilities are welcome to run or support on the day. For tickets for the 1K, 5K or 10K run you can visit www.stdavidsdayrun.com