This was a week of reflection and learning!
With only about three hours sleep behind me I travelled down to Runnymede in Surrey with the Worcestershire Ambassadors to complete the Action Challenge, a 50k walk in aid of St Richard’s Hospice, with the group aiming to raise £50k.
With grit, determination and a bruised ego I managed to crawl over the line with a reasonably respectable time of nine hour and 39 minutes. Note to self: “Learn the lessons of the tortoise and the hare!” Thankfully we all managed to complete the race, battered, blistered and exhausted. Thank you for all your support! There’s still time to donate to this wonderful cause at www.justgiving.com/Jabba-Riaz.
The next day Sajeeda and I were hosted by the Freemasons at the Cathedral for their annual service. The Freemasons are an organisation that is so impressive and misunderstood. Hardly anyone realises that they raise millions in charity every year, coming only second to the National Lottery in terms of donations – impressive!
It is always good to learn about issues from other cities and towns across Europe and I was graciously hosted by Reverend Canon Dr Alvyn Pettersen to talk to visitors from Magdeburg Cathedral in Germany about the Cathedral’s role in our city, its relationship with the City Council, and a range of social issues. They were a fantastically receptive and knowledgeable audience from whom I will take away some valuable lessons.
Thursday evening saw the Worcester Sports Awards, a prestigious fixture in the civic calendar, when the great and the good of the sporting world in the city are recognised for their achievements. The awards ceremony was impressively hosted again this year at the University Arena with running stars Steve Cram and Allison Curbishley and BBC presenter Dan Pallett handing out the gongs. I would like to thank the sponsors, without whom these awards would not happen, and I was proud to see a childhood mentor of mine, Mike Underwood of Worcester Boxing Club (affectionately known as Uncle Mickey after the famous Rocky films), was recognised for his 40 years of dedication in helping youngsters in the city, keeping them of the streets, giving them focus and some purpose. Well deserved!