Campaign for men to take part in Race for Life renewed

By Sophie Hudson, Third Sector Online, 23 April 2012

Race for Life

Race for Life

John Taylor writes to Cancer Research UK, which runs the event, after young boys are allowed to take part

A man whose complaint about men being prevented from taking part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events was rejected by the Fundraising Standards Board has renewed his campaign after the charity allowed young boys to take part.

John Taylor had argued that CRUK breached the Fundraising Promise adopted by FRSB members because it was not "fair and reasonable" to exclude men form the events. The complaint was dismissed by the FRSB board in September 2010.

CRUK recently announced it had decided to allow boys aged 11 and under to take part in Race for Life, which it trialled last year, after a campaign by Claire Parker, who wanted to participate with her seven-year-old son.

Since the news emerged, Taylor has written again to CRUK’s chair, Michael Pragnell, to say he was very pleased with the charity’s "quick action taken to alter the rules".

"Perhaps, now, Cancer Research UK will take urgent action to allow all males to participate," he said.

He also suggests that optional 5k or 10k Race for Life events for men take place on the same day and in the same locations as the existing Race for Life events, and that the applications forms could be unisex. 

Emma Hyatt, head of Race for Life, said CRUK did not plan to open registration to men to take part in events in 2012. "We recognise that men have a really important role to play in Race for Life and we have many male supporters who volunteer their time to help out on the day," she said. "We also encourage men to come along to support the women who are taking part and are continuing to improve facilities to ensure it is a family-friendly event."

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