Exeter City Football Club held its second annual Charity Santa Dash, sponsored by Stagecoach, which ran between the Guildhall in the High Street to the stadium at St James Park.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
An impressive 258 Santas took part, even in spite of the poor weather over the weekend. The starting gun was fired by the Mayor of Exeter at 1.15pm, giving Dashers ample time to arrive at St James Park where they were greeted by warm applause from fellow City fans ahead of the Barnet game.
Once they had painted the town red (and white), those that had signed up for the VIP Santa Dash package enjoyed hospitality treatment and a meal before the match kicked off, and then they also had their own designated section in the Flybe Stand.
And at half-time, the Beacon Knights under-11 team and Stoke Hill under-10s competed in a shoot-out on the pitch in their full Santa Suit outfits, much to the amusement of the Exeter City and Barnet spectators, and helped to contribute to a wonderful festive atmosphere .
The main purpose behind staging the event was to fundraise for charitable causes. Entrants raised money through sponsorship, which has been split 50-50 between Exeter City’s Football in the Community Trust and a nominated charity of their choice – many opting for the Adam Stansfield Foundation, Devon Air Ambulance, Help for Heroes, CLIC Sargent and Hospiscare.
In the Christmas spirit, a total of over £7000 looks set to be raised for different charities by City fans. And Exeter’s Youth Commercial Manager David Evans, who organised the event, was delighted with the success of the 2012 Santa Dash.
He said: “We’re hugely grateful to everyone that was involved in this event to help make it a massive success. Of course, first and foremost thanks have to go to all that braved the weather to do the Dash.
“I would like to thank Stagecoach for promoting and sponsoring the event and to JTT Contracting for organising the road closures, backed up by volunteers from the East Devon Grecians Supporters Club”.
“Everyone involved had an amazing day, and I can safely say that the Santa Dash will be back bigger and better for 2013!”
Leah Rogers, who took part in the event with her family, said: “As a family we thought that it would be good to do something together over the Christmas period and to also raise money for some good causes.
“As we came round the corner to St James Park there were plenty of people to cheer us on, and as we came across the finish as a family I was surprised to have third place thrust at me! Wow, I didn’t expect that!
“We all went home with a smile on our faces knowing that next year we will be back to take part again.”