We met up with Tooting MP Sadiq Khan as he prepares to run the Virgin Money London Marathon and raise some cash for charities like KKF!
Last Friday during half-term, a few lucky KKF members laced up their trainers and headed down to Tooting Bec Athletics Track to discover why local MP Sadiq Khan (and KKF patron) is running the London Marathon this April - the biggest marathon event of the year.
At a grisly 26 miles across town, running a marathon is no easy feat, even if you are relatively fit. Despite his lack of jogging experience, Sadiq needed little persuasion to sign up once he knew it could help charities like KKF continue their essential work in the local community.
‘When I was first asked to run, I said “no way!”’ joked Sadiq during the chat. ‘But finding out I’d raise money for groups like KKF, I couldn’t refuse. I’ve seen how Klevis Kola work with young asylum-seekers and refugees to keep them constructively engaged, which is vital for the community.’
He went to explain the importance of youth support and the danger of the media de-humanising minority groups, which can result in society turning against them. ‘We need to break down stereotypes about asylum-seekers, immigrants and young people. Instead, we must encourage their confidence and self-esteem so they can fulfill their potential.’
As well as talking about KKF and the London Marathon, the kids also got the opportunity to grill Sadiq about life as an MP and discuss their own career hopes. A straw poll revealed that the majority of girls want to work with kids when they’re older, while the boys are mostly budding footballers.
Finally, the day couldn’t have been complete without a track race against the MP. While neither side managed to give Mo Farah a run for his money (as Sadiq hopes to do in April), we all had a fun day together and KKF got a rare chance to discuss their experiences and get some career tips from a leading political figure.
Sadiq and over 35,000 runners will be pounding the pavements for UK’s biggest charity run on 13th April. Good luck to everyone who is taking part – see you at the finish line!
If you want to know more about our day with Sadiq Khan, click here for the full Evening Standard feature on Sadiq Khan and KKF.