The charitable event, which took place at Victoria Tower Gardens in front of a bumper crowd of spectators, saw cross-party representation on teams of MPs and Lords, who along with a team from the Parliamentary Press Gallery, competed in an exciting relay pancake race. The event raises valuable funds and awareness of the work undertaken by Rehab, a registered charity, which transforms the lives of people with disabilities and others who are marginalised by enabling them to become more active and independent, play a fuller part in their communities and maximise their potential. Additionally, the charity also supports people who are looking to gain employment through a range of social enterprise and community rehabilitation initiatives.
Despite the cool weather, the race quickly became heated, as decorum was put to one side with the MPs, Lords and media teams showing their competitive spirit as they battled for supremacy in this, the mother of all pancake races. Celebrating the MPs team’s win were Tracey Crouch (Chatham & Aylesford), Stephen Pound (Ealing North), Julian Huppert (Cambridge), Ian Murray (Edinburgh South), Sir Bob Russell (Colchester), Martin Horwood (Cheltenham), Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne) and Jason McCartney (Colne Valley).
Speaking after the race, team spokesperson Tracey Crouch MP said: “It was definitely a hard-won race. The conditions were tough; the nippy weather certainly made it hard to get a good flip but it was worth it in the end to get one over on the Lords and the media! Our fellow competitors certainly put in a good fight but our Herculean training regime clearly knocked the opposition for six!”
“However in all seriousness, we are delighted to have been invited to take part in this wonderful event. The work that Rehab does to support disabled people and others at a disadvantage is fantastic and this race was a great opportunity to raise awareness of how we can all support those who are most vulnerable in our society.”
Joining the race for the first time as Official Starter and Race Scrutineer was ITV network news anchor, Natasha Kaplinsky who said: “There was a lot of good-natured pre-race banter between the teams but as soon as the race started, the battle lines were very quickly drawn. It was clear that each team wanted to win the gold, and it was tough trying to ensure that people remained on their best parliamentary behaviour. Outside the genteel confines of the Houses of Parliament, it seemed the rare opportunity to have permission to physically get one over on the opposition, whether by surreptitiously knocking them off their stride or pulling on their apron strings to hold them back, were simply too tempting to resist!”
The annual Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race was established fifteen years ago to raise awareness of the work undertaken by Rehab. Angela Kerins, Chief Executive of Rehab, said: “It was certainly a great victory for the MPs team – clearly the upcoming Olympic Games have given an extra competitive edge this year! I would like to congratulate the MPs on their win, but I would also like to thank everyone for taking the time to take part. Thanks to the support of the MPs, Lords and journalists we can continue to make a real difference to the lives of people through our range of innovative and high-quality health and social care, training, education, and employment services.”
For more information about the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race 2012, please see www.parliamentarypancakerace.co.uk