Dobriskey launches Mini Mile Races

For release: Wednesday 08 January 2014
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Today’s launch for the 2014 ICONIQ Shlurp! Mini Mile Races was held at Varndean school whose most famous son was the 1980 800m Olympic champion and world record holder, Steve Ovett.
On hand to speak to a rapt assembly of 300 children was Lisa Dobriskey, 2006 Commonwealth champion and World silver from Berlin. 
Dobriskey brought her medals with her and was surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd of youngsters she was hoping to inspire: “Sport has given me lots of opportunities – it’s formed my life and it’s what I am passionate about,” said Dobriskey.
This year the Mini Mile is being held the day before the Marathon in Preston Park and Dobriskey emphasised how important early interest in events like this is for children. Her first steps in athletics were taken when she was 11 and she entered school sports day.
“My advice to youngsters is: get involved, try everything you can, look for help (there are a lot of folks out there who will help you) and keep fighting for what you want.”
The main focus of the morning was of course the Mini Mile which this year is hoping to attract 3000 entrants: “These Races are brilliant for Brighton because of the way they bring the community together for a big event,” she said. “I want to inspire lots of youngsters to go out and compete in running races.” 
The Ashford athlete then moved on to talk about her successful international track career which has now spanned 12 years.
“My dream race was the Commonwealth Games 1500m in Melbourne. The memory of winning there will always be special,” she said. 
“In Berlin I had the feeling that I had to medal after finishing fourth at the Beijing Olympics the year before.” In fact she came within a hair’s breadth of winning, only losing gold by 0.01sec.
Finally, though she is a 1500m runner, the subject of running a marathon was raised, but she was not prepared to commit herself too seriously: “I’d love to run a marathon one day – but as a fun runner,” she insisted.
Clearly, it will have to be the Brighton Marathon.
The assembly was shown a video of some of Britain’s greatest athletes, Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett and Steve Cram while not forgetting a current international also from Brighton, Charlie Grice, a former pupil of Cardinal Newman school. 
Once the presentation was over came the action as 50 children went out on to the Astroturf for a training session led by Inter-County mile champion, Dan Stepney of Brighton Phoenix, with the Shlurp! cow bringing up the rear. 
Places are filling up quickly so avoid disappointment by applying as soon as possible.
The race is open to anyone between the ages of seven and 17. All competitors receive a T-shirt, kit bag and a medal on finishing.
The Mini Mile Races are partnered with Barnardo’s, a charity supported by Shlurp!