As the city gears up for the London Marathon this weekend, the Almeida are looking forward to cheering on our own runner, Sophie Boyd. A former volleyball player (she was an outside hitter for England for five years), Boyd has chosen to tackle her first-ever marathon to raise support for the Almeida’s Participation work.
“What the Almeida is achieving through its Participation work is really important,” said Sophie after a recent performance of original work from the Almeida’s partner schools. “The stuff the students were coming out with was absolute gold.”
Boyd has always enjoyed running in her spare time, and was inspired to apply for the marathon by her best friend. When neither secured a place in the lottery, they began looking for charities they could run for, and when Boyd saw the Almeida on the list, it felt like the perfect match.
“I love going to the theatre and seeing my part in the whole thing,” said Sophie, who works for Society of London Theatres and Stage One. “And I think it’s really important for children to experience theatre, no matter what their background. Whether or not they have a career in theatre, Participation work gives them the opportunity get up on the stage and to perform, and there are not that many people in the world who get the chance to do that."
Sophie’s friend and running partner recently had to bow out due to injury, but it hasn’t stopped her. Her goal is to raise £6,500 to enable more than 3,000 young people in and surrounding Islington to take part in theatre-led projects that increase confidence, communication and team-work.
“Just to see young people on stage is enough to go, ‘Yeah, I’ll run 26 miles if it helps make that possible,” said Sophie.
Follow Sophie’s progress on Twitter and Instagram
Support Sophie and Almeida Participation by donating to her run
Track Sophie during the marathon here