Sport would cease to exist without volunteers

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Over the past years I have run many Sheffield Full and Half Marathons.

I have also run four London Marathons, the Glasgow and Paris Marathons and dozens of half marathons around the country.

I can honestly say that apart from the London Marathon which is superb, the Sheffield Marathon has always been one of the best organised in the country.

It has always been organised by a group of dedicated volunteers, none of whom receive a penny for the many hours, weeks and months they put in on behalf of our City.

Under the very able chairing of Margaret Lilley, the Sheffield Half Marathon, in spite of having to overcome many changing route problems, has been going from strength to strength, raising over £1 million for Sheffield charities and given thousands of runners a great experience.

All the entrance money goes into paying for medals, T-shirts, runners’ numbers,timers, road barriers, water stations, with all the rest going to selected Sheffield charities.

It is not unheard of for distance races to be cancelled, albeit usually due to adverse weather and entrance fees are never returned, mainly because it has had to spent on all the preparations.

It is such a shame that this mix-up with the water suppliers resulting in the late cancellation, has brought such attacks upon these dedicated volunteers and I do hope they are not put off and stay with it for next year.

It is a fact that without the massive army of unpaid volunteers in this country, sport as we know it would cease to exist .

For Sheffield in particular, all our runners, athletes and sports men and women in general, owe a great debt of gratitude to this group of wonderful people who are prepared to give up most of their free time to keep Sheffield still the City of Sport.

Coun Peter Price MBE

Swanbourne Road, S5