27th September 2019 — Wellington College has a proud history of cross-country running, stretching back to the 1860s; in more recent years, the College has acquired a name for Wellbeing, being one of the first schools in the UK to pioneer the teaching of Wellbeing as part of the curriculum. This year, these two traditions will combine. Thanks to the dedication of Delyth Lynch, Deputy Head (Safeguarding) and Head of Running, along with her team of running enthusiasts, the College has been recognised as a #RunAndTalk organisation.
#RunAndTalk is an England Athletics initiative supported by Mind, the mental health charity. The idea is to improve mental health through running by getting people talking, sharing their experiences and removing stigma. The #RunAndTalk programme will be a great addition to Wellington’s Wellbeing programme: staff and students will have the opportunity to be trained as Mental Health Ambassadors and Mental Health Champions, providing additional support and guidance to raise awareness of mental health issues. Delyth Lynch and Sarah MacKenzie (HM Combermere and a member of the running club) have recently trained as Mental Health First Aiders and Delyth, Sam Gutteridge and George Wells have completed their courses in Mental Wellbeing in Sport.
#RunAndTalk is the latest in a long line of running initiatives at Wellington and will join such traditions as the annual Kingsleys races, in which more than 1000 enthusiastic students and staff weave their way through Wellington’s 410-acre site, a 5K challenge that culminates in a plunge through Swan Lake. The Boughey Run, a more recent but nevertheless a much cherished tradition, sees 18 gutsy individuals, one from each House, attempt to run from Front Quad to Swan Lake and back in the time taken for the clock to chime twelve (a near-impossible feat, but contested in true Wellington style). This term kicked off with The Welling10K, another annual event, in which pupils, OWs, staff, parents, and members of the wider Wellington Community run to raise bursary funds in memory of a much-loved member of staff, Jimmy Higham. Other events, such as the Waterloo half-marathon and the Pink Pavilion Dash, mean that running remains at the heart of the Wellington experience. This year two way-marked running courses will be set out in the College grounds to encourage students to run as part of their wellbeing and in the Summer Term, the College also hopes to host its very own ‘Park Run’ equivalent for the students, staff and parents.