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Walks are off amid corona virus pandemic

Walks are off amid corona virus pandemic

Sunday 29 March 2020

Walks are off amid corona virus pandemic


Both the World Aid Walk and the Saffery Rotary Walk have been affected by the global corona virus pandemic, with the former postponed and the latter cancelled as a result.

The World Aid Walk is a 20km challenge, which takes place every year in Guernsey - with smaller events in Alderney, Sark and Herm too.

It has been held 'rain or shine' every year for half a century, but the impact of the covid-19 crisis means it can't go ahead on its scheduled date of Friday 8 May.

Instead, the organisers have chosen Saturday 12 September as an alternative.

Natalie Tucker, Chair of the World Aid Walk Committee said the organisers are "saddened to announce" the postponement.

2018 world aid walk from website

Pictured: The World Aid Walk always starts from Market Square. 

“It’s incredibly important that we keep walkers and volunteers safe, and follow Public Health advice on social distancing, so although this is incredibly disappointing, we know that it is the right decision to make at this time," said Ms Tucker.

The new date of 12 September will also see a new start time for 2020, with those walking the full route leaving Market Square at 14:00. The Herm event will also take place that day but information about the rearranged walks in Alderney and Sark will be released later.

Entries will be carried over to the new date for anyone still wanting to take part, but if you can't do it on the new date a refund will be given.

aidwalk-events.jpg

Pictured: There's always a huge crowd of people gathered in Market Square ahead of the World Aid Walk. 

Dr Sue Wilson, World Aid Walk Committee Member, said: “We know that the money raised by the World Aid Walk each year makes a real difference to the lives of some of the world’s poorest people, so we were keen to reschedule the Walk, rather than cancel it, especially as poorer communities will need our support more than ever this year.”

Peter Carey, World Aid Walk Committee Member said: “We’d like to thank everyone for their understanding and support at this challenging time, and hope that the Bailiwick can support the event on the new date of 12 September and help us celebrate 50 years of the World Aid Walk, while raising much needed funds for some very worthwhile causes.”

Further information is available at worldaidwalk.org.gg.

An alternative date can't be found for the Saffery Rotary Walk however.

The round island walk is always held in June, as there are longer daylight hours for those attempting the 39mile challenge. The organisers said choosing an alternative date wasn't easy because of the uncertainty over how long the corona virus situation will continue.

Saffery Rotary Walk 2017

Pictured: The Saffery Rotary Walk always takes place in June. 

Organising committee Chair Simon Milsted said: “Like so many promoters of important events in the Guernsey calendar we have been left with no option than to announce the cancelation of this year’s Walk in light of the public health advice we are all being givenAlternative arrangements for a deferred date later in the year are impractical given the uncertainty around when the current situation will resolve and, as a knock-on effect, the availability of our amazing team of volunteers to organise the Walk. 

You can imagine the disappointment amongst our volunteers who have already committed so much time and energy in the preparations for the Walk. My thanks go to them all. 

"My thanks also go to our sponsor, Saffery Champness, who have stood by us and been so supportive of us during these unprecedented and difficult times. 

saffery_rotary_walk.jpg

Pictured: Some of those who took part in the 2018 Saffery Rotary Walk completed it as a relay. 

The sponsors are keen to continue the supporting the event in any way they can, and also the charities which were due to benefit from this year's event.

Lisa Vizia, Director at Saffery Champness and member of the organising committee said: “Of course this decision is especially difficult given the amazing funds our walkers raise for local causes and I would like to take this opportunity to draw public attention to their obvious need for support. 

“A list of charities that would have received funds from the Walk is available on our website and we would urge islanders to support them where they can. 

Simon Milsted added: “I am sure walkers will understand that the decision was made reflecting our concerns for their safety and that of the community. But please don’t forget us. Be assured we intend it to be 'business as usual' next year in what will be named the “20/21 Saffery Rotary Walk" and what will be a celebration of the Walks amazing history.” 

More information on registration cancellations and fundraising is available at safferyrotarywalk.org.gg.


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