News Blog

In memory of TKAT's Founder John Atkins

Posted on: 6th Jun 2024

The first John Atkins Memorial Run took place at Smarden Primary and Nursery School just before the May half term. Over 150 pupils took part, with parents and guests invited to support the children and enjoy the afternoon. The school was delighted to welcome TKAT's CEO Dr Karen Roberts, who started each of the races for the children.

Early years children were first up, and they ran with their specially designed race cards to collect stamps at six stations along the route. As Spurs fan John so loved his dog “Gunner”, the stamps were specially chosen to be a dog’s paw prints! The Key Stage 1 & 2 events both started with a warm up to music led by the Year 3 teacher, Holly Coventon.

There were some fantastic efforts from the younger pupils. Key Stage 2 was the last group to run, battling it out with grit and determination to get the most stamps over Cornes Meadow.

Every child (and some of the staff) made a huge effort, many of whom also managed to get their faces, arms, and hands stamped. The children were very impressive. Clearly the daily mile during school time had paid off, along with after school running club.

Each child was presented with a commemorative certificate to take home, designed to look like a marathon bib and signed by both the Headteacher and Stephanie Atkins (John's wife). 

The weather held out during the run and also for the tea, cakes, school tours and presentation of awards afterwards. Stephanie gave an inspiring speech about the annual running event in memory of John. She then presented the school with John's CBE medal beautifully displayed in a presentation case which will take centre stage in the school's curriculum corridor. The medal is a symbol of excellence, perseverance, and the pursuit of greatness.

Headteacher Claudia Miller said,
"As is usual at Smarden Primary, our community came together to put on a great event which John would have loved. Roll on next year!  
We are deeply honoured by the gift of John's CBE medal and will cherish it always. It will inspire each and every one of us to strive for our best, reminding us that with dedication and hard work, we too can achieve remarkable things.
It is a profound reminder of the impact one individual can have on the world, and serves as a beacon of inspiration for our entire school community. 
John’s legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of our pupils."




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