Hundreds in the community dusted off their scooters, bicycles and running shoes on Sunday to take part in Maccabi GB’s first ever virtual community fun run to raise funds for more than 50 charities.
Participants were given the options of running, walking, hopping or skipping a distance of either 1km, 5km or 10 km, at home or a local park while following the UK’s lockdown rules.
Organisers also held a “text to run campaign” in which proceeds were split equally among the registered charities.
More than 11,000 people tuned into the online medal ceremony broadcast using the online platform JLGB Virtual and featuring messages from Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev, and a 96 year-old participant, Ruth Brook, who raised funds for the social care charity Jewish Care.
“I’d like to congratulate you all on what you have achieved,” Rabbi Mirvis told participants and organisers.
He said: It’s been absolutely extraordinary, congratulations to Maccabi GB for inspiring and empowering so many people to participate this year … and to all of you, the participants congratulations on running, hopping, skipping, jumping 1km, 5km, 10 km and not just for the sake of good exercise but far more importantly in order to raise desperately needed funds for our charities at this time.”
Thousands across 30 countries, such as France, Ireland and Scotland, held their own Community Fun Run @ Home Online events.
“We were really sorry that we weren’t able to hold the actual Maccabi GB Community Fun Run this year,” said Maccabi GB’s chief executive, Martin Berliner.
“However we are thrilled with the amount of people that took part whilst raising money for the community’s frontline charities and organisations. It was great that off the back of the Maccabi GB event, we saw Maccabi organisations from across Europe take part as well,” he added.
The 2020 fun run – a highlight of the community’s calendar and significant source of income for charities – was postponed to 27 June next year.