Today started off as per usual for a Wednesday - Breakfast (Crumpets for Maya, Poached eggs for Ev and Boiled eggs for Sam today) and Grandma Skipton arrived, but then the TV crews and Radio Leeds arrived as well (and I was still in my PJ's). Not standard that, not even for a Wednesday.
Evan's school had been taking part in an Olympic related event at school (http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/9676382.Silsden_boy_Evan___s_pledging_to_walk) and as part of this he has set himself the target of walking to school to earn his school some miles/points. He has had a couple of practise runs previously (see previous blogs for detail) and today was the day that was chosen for his first day to walk to school.
This had all been co-ordinated with and by Evan's teaching assistant (Mrs Court) who saw his participation in this as being something to really aim for. We knew there was going to be some press coverage, although we thought it might be a bit of local press and maybe a camera or two - perhaps even a TV camera. Someone asked us how Ev would be in front of the cameras - we knew he'd be fine (in fact, he was a little bit envious of his SDR buddy Ben, if truth be told...) - it was me and Loup that were worried.
Loup did a piece (Live!) on Radio Leeds (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/p00r2129?lang=en listen from 1:16:57) which we listened to in the kitchen, huddled round the radio, and then we set off just after 8 as we knew it would take him about an hour, every step followed by two tv cameras.
Evocative of the fundraising, people waved from windows (they know who they are :) ), cars stopped and people shouted good luck. He was actually going quicker than expected so he had a sit down and an interview. As you do... Then we progressed up Elliott St and we were met with a wall of sound - kids, teachers and parents from Aire View all cheering him along. Probably not the best thing to say as I write the blog, but there are no words to describe it....
He was now on the last leg, and as he rounded the corner we could see Hannah Cockcroft - local paralympian (and world champion and world record holder as well http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/disability_sport/8753444.stm)- who was meeting him as part of this.
Radio Leeds also did an interview with Hannah.
They had a quick chat and he was nearly there. This time, his school friends lined the way and, pretty bizarrely at the end was a collection of journalists with long lenses. We also met up with some of the team from the LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) and also Education team who had worked on this. The back streets of South View Terrace have never seen anything like it....
More photos, more TV interviews, more radio items, local and national press and then we went down to join the assembly that Hannah was giving to the whole school (a weird experience for me given that I last attended a Hothfield assembly in 1983...).
We waved goodbye to Hannah and everyone else who had turned a school run into another remarkable experience - all as part of Evan's Big Journey.
Here are the links to the tv clips
I'm sure there will be further follow-ups as the story gets out - and it should, SDR CHANGES LIVES!
What next for us and Ev.... another school run tomorrow, of course.