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Belfast City Marathon success for SERC Public Services Relay Team and SERC Animal Care Lecturer

Taking part in a marathon is no mean feat, whether you are taking part in the fun run, up for the walk, taking on a leg of the team relay event or the full marathon – it takes courage and determination so we are delighted to report on the success of Team South Eastern Regional College (SERC) Public Services and Animal Care Lecturer, Diane McKay.

Team SERC Public Services, Calum McKechnie, Jack Maguire, Rory McErlain, Matthew Lendrum, Sam Sexton and Kimberly Kirk, acting as substitute, are all classmates from the BTEC 90 Credit Diploma in Public Services based in the Bangor Campus. They joined over 10,000 runners finishing the punishing 26.2 mile course in under 4 hours. Another class member, Lucy Watterson, volunteered at the event, providing advice, guidance, direction and support to members of the public. In carrying out this role, Lucy demonstrated skills required for the services.

Despite being beaten by Joel Kositany from Kenya and along with the obvious blisters and aching muscles, the students have developed a taste for running, with many of the team looking forward to participating again next year. Team SERC Public Services will also complete the Warrior Assault obstacle course race in two weeks along with their tutor, Irwin Pryce.

Irwin Pryce, Lecturer, School of Applied Science, Sport and Access to Education said, “The students are currently studying the Leadership and Teamwork in the Public Services unit. Participation in this event has allowed them to meet assessed criteria as they completed a team activity with one student assigned as a leader who briefed and debriefed the team. In addition, the marathon activity counts towards their Volunteering in the Public Services unit where they have also been working alongside several voluntary organisations including Oxfam, Assisi and Storehouse North Down, which is also helping them accrue hours towards an additional Millennium Volunteers Award.

He added, “Physical fitness is required for all public services, with fitness tests for the roles commonly consisting of a timed run. Participation in this event will give the students the edge when applying for much sought after public service roles.

“I am delighted for their team effort, commitment and success in the marathon relay event.   They should be very proud of their achievement.”

Meanwhile, Animal Care Lecturer, Diane McKay, based in Downpatrick was delighted with her result coming in at 4:14:35.   Diane, an avid runner, has been in training for several months in preparation of her second full marathon.   She said, “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family.   I love running and the feeling when you complete something like this is priceless. The whole day is magical, the crowd cheering you on and when you see your family, willing you over the finish line, it is simply amazing.” Diane is already planning her next race.

The Public Services team are fundraising for Action MS. Their Just Giving page will remain open this week and the team would be grateful for any donations, no matter how small. 

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