SpecialEffect runners raise £11k for charity
Team of 26 beats previous fundraising records as Prime Minister raises glass to gaming charity
A team of 26 UK games industry runners has raised over £11,000 for gaming charity SpecialEffect after competing in last weekend's British 10k.
Many of the runners opted for games-themed fancy dress, with Mario, Sonic, multiple Lara Crofts, Plants Vs. Zombies, Prince of Persia and Viva Pinata's Horstachio all represented in a field of over 20,000 entrants in the central London race.
It was a record-breaking result for the charity, which helps young people with disabilities to play videogames, smashing the sums raised in previous years.
"Once again, the games industry has done itself proud," said SpecialEffect director Mick Donegan. "An amazing achievement by all, raising much-needed funds which will make an immediate impact on the number of severely disabled people we can help."
Asked what difference the money would make, he told GamesIndustry.biz: "It will go towards our new national Roadshows Project, [which will] provide loan equipment and support to children at hospitals and hospices around the country, including Stoke Mandeville and The Children's Trust, to enhance the children's quality of life and, wherever possible, aid recovery through the therapeutic use of accessible games technology."
SpecialEffect vice president Kirsty Payne added: "It was a brilliant day and a fantastic atmosphere. We're already allocating places for next year's Olympic British 10K so just give us a shout if you're interested in joining us."
The run capped off a successful weekend for the charity. On Saturday, a specially-created SpecialEffect ale, created by Tring Brewery, debuted at the Charlbury Beer Festival and was sampled by David Cameron. The Prime Minister is the charity's local MP and earlier this year officially opened the UK's first accessible games centre.
"I complimented [the PM] on his good taste after he chose SpecialEffect beer from over 50 on offer and he really liked it," said Donegan. "He made a good choice - the beer was so well received, in fact, that it was amongst the first few barrels to be emptied by the Charlbury faithful."
David Cameron's SpecialEffect drinking session was captured by local broadcaster WitneyTV.
The SpecialEffect team will be at next week's Develop Conference in Brighton, talking to developers about how they can collaborate to make their games accessible to more people.
Donations can still be made in support of the British 10k team's efforts at www.justgiving.com/SpecialEffect10K.
The team included: Dave Moran (Midlifegamer), Kirsty Payne (SpecialEffect/Mastertronic), Andy Robertson (Family Gamer), Matt Eyre (Sega), Mark Ward (Warner), Johnny Minkley (SpecialEffect/Eurogamer), Simon Cowley (NCSoft), Korina Abbott (UbiSoft), Graeme Boyd (Microsoft), Dan Maher (Microsoft), Mark Robins (Lunch PR), Andrew Smith (SpiltMilk), Lucy Starvis (Lunch PR), Cat Channon (NCSoft), Tom Ling (NCsoft), Craig Stephens (NCSoft), Nicky Hunt (Spiltmilk), Mick Morris (Audiomotion), Brian Mitchell (Audiomotion), Rachel Tudhope (Audiomotion), Luke Niejadlik (Audiomotion), Gareth Glover (Codemasters), Neil Grainger (Audiomotion), Steve Merrett (Voltage PR), Alison Beasley (Lincoln Beasley), Jacob Mattock (Lincoln Beasley) and Nick Streeter (SpecialEffect).