Marathon runner inspired to support Superstar Arts

Pete and Pam Okines with the Superstar Arts art and community group
Pete and Pam Okines with the Superstar Arts art and community group

Runner Pete Okines is taking to the streets of London to raise much-needed funds for Superstar Arts.

The 60-year-old and his wife Pam hope to raise £1,000 for the community interest organisation, which provides creative projects and other activities for people with learning disabilities in Worthing.

Pete explained: “We went to see a Superstar Arts concert one evening at St Paul’s and thought ‘what a lovely thing to get involved with’.”

Pete and Pam visited the Superstar Arts art and community group at Heene Community Centre earlier this month to talk about the London Marathon.

He said: “I will get up at 5am on the day and will get to the starting area two hours early to warm up. There will be approximately 50,000 runners taking part in the London Marathon.”

Pete has always loved running, having started at school. He has done 15 marathons, including London, Barcelona, Nice, Berlin and Athens. He has also run more than 30 half marathons.

He says his inspiration for running comes from the origins of the word marathon, which comes from 2,500 years ago, when a solider ran to Athens with news of a war near Marathon.

Pete said this level of dedication and commitment to a goal are what he and Pam are hoping to achieve for Superstar Arts with their fundraising.

Jo Telling, who founded Superstar Arts with Jo Sullivan in 2012, said: “The money Pete and Pam are raising will go towards much-needed equipment.”

Superstar Arts provides creative projects so people with learning disabilities can design, make and exhibit art work, as well as selling their own products.

The founders say they believe in creating meaningful opportunities for people with learning disabilities to develop their own inspirational and unique ideas. Feelings and ideas are explored and expressed through drama and performance.

Learning is encouraged through experimentation, questioning and discovery, and group members are encouraged to be as independent as possible.

Pete ran the Worthing Half Marathon and the Brighton Half Marathon recently and will run the Brighton Marathon on April 15 as preparation for the London Marathon on Sunday, April 22. Visit www.localgiving.org/charity/superstararts to make a donation.