We recently took part in The Big Toddle – a brilliantly named ‘sponsored walk for little people’ – and as well as being great fun it also ended with Sonny winning his first gold medal!
I should probably mention from the start that every kid who takes part in The Big Toddle gets a gold medal, but that hasn’t stopped us from hanging it up in pride of place at home so everyone who visits us can see it.
The Big Toddle is the UK’s biggest pre-school fundraising event for children, with thousands of under-5s around the country taking part over the course of a week every year. It doesn’t matter if your little one is a baby in a pram or a fully-fledged toddler wrecking machine – everyone’s welcome.
Sonny’s event was organised by the wonderful staff at St Ives Nursery, where he’s been spending three and a half days a week since he turned 12 months old. Our little champ has come out of his shell and developed so quickly since starting nursery, and this event was another brilliant example of how they encourage every kid who attends the nursery to be active and have as much fun as possible.
The theme of this year’s Big Toddle event was colour, so we all turned up wearing the most garish clothes we could get our hands on, and the aim of the event was one full lap of our local park. It might not sound like much but with hundreds of kids taking part plus a few unruly parents like me, what would normally be a five-minute stroll took well over an hour.
Sonny had only started walking a few weeks before The Big Toddle so was slightly unsteady on his feet, but he was determined to walk the whole way and despite falling over dozens of times and breaking free from his reins and the footpath to charge across the park at every opportunity, we had the best time ever.
It was probably the most excited I’ve ever seen him (and this guy is excited pretty much every second the day) as he raced forwards and backwards along the long trail of toddlers toddling their way around the park, pulling faces at everyone and generally having the time of his life.
Once the lap was complete and the nursery staff had managed to successfully round up all the kids (no small job), we posed for a big group photo, received our gold medals then headed back home. Not only did I get to spend a memorable morning with my boy, but together we also managed to raise over £2,000 for the Barnardo’s charity which does such an amazing job of protecting the welfare of vulnerable children. Thanks again has to go to St Ives Nursery for that – without their organisation and passion our little event would never have taken place.
So well done Sonny on your first gold medal and well done to everyone who took part in a fun day out. I’ll never forget it.