The Maccabi Fun Run took place on Sunday at Saracens’ Allianz Park stadium, in Hendon. The event sees runners and walkers take on distances of 10k, 5k, or 1k, depending on each person’s abilities. It was a day of sporting triumph for Norwood, as 11 people with learning disabilities, supported by the charity, competed at the fun run. Three Norwood participants undertook the 5k race, with eight undertaking the 1k event. There was excitement in the build-up to the races, with Norwood Sports Coach Mandy Ebrahimi saying; ‘We’ve seen the guys we support in the gym, training, and it’s fantastic to see all of that hard work pay off.’

James Fine, supported by Norwood, who competed in the 5k event, agreed saying; ‘I’m looking forward to this. I’ve been training.’

All Norwood runners and walkers completed their distances, and were rightly proud of their efforts, with one – Rachel Cohen – stating; ‘I enjoyed it. I’m glad it’s done. The best bit was finishing’

Sports Team Leader Drew Needs commented on just why Norwood take part in the Maccabi Fun Run; ‘The connection to such a large, Jewish event is very important. This is an event right at heart of the community. It’s also an opportunity to see the results of all the training those we support have done. Kaila, for example, is training for one of Norwood’s Challenges – a trek across Romania, with one of our Sports Coaches, Mandy – so today is essential preparation’

Ian Tate, Norwood’s Head of Challenges, followed up on just why such events are essential; ‘The people we support are what Norwood’s Challenges are all about. Their participation is essential, and Norwood is unique in that respect, as those we support have taken part in our Challenges for the entire 25 years they’ve been running – trekking and riding in tandem.’

Among Camp Simcha’s 59 runners were families supported by the charity, staff and chief executive Neville Goldschneider, who is in training for the charity’s Coastal Freedom Trail challenge next month.

Staff member Sophie Young who ran with her husband and sons, Zachy, 5, and Noah, 2, said: ‘It was a great family day and the boys loved it, especially Zachy, who thought he won the whole race!’

Wendy Anthony, who ran with her two children Toby – who finished 4th in the 5k race and Beth. She said family members had been running for Camp Simcha for several years now in support of a friend who is helped by the charity.

She said: ‘We see what an amazing boost Camp Simcha is to them, the retreats, the parties, the practical help and emotional support they get from their Family Liaison Officer – it all makes such a difference. This is something we like to do every year to show our support.’