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Hundreds set the pace for 10K in memory of Matt Ratana

Hundreds of staff and officers are taking to the streets in memory of Sergeant Matt Ratana.

Police Federations and specialist teams across the country have been putting on their running shoes for a 10k challenge in memory of Sgt Matt Ratana.

For the second year in a row, firearms officers, HR staff and more have opted in for the virtual run to raise funds throughout April as a mark of respect for the custody officer who was murdered on duty last year.

Sgt Ratana died in a custody suite in Croydon after being shot by a detained suspect.

In the weeks that followed, colleague Paul Hollis quickly established a memorial event in his honour, The Ratana 10k.

The first event was a huge success with more than 2,500 people taking part and raising in excess of £40,000.

This year’s event will take place throughout the month of April and as it is entirely virtual, it can be completed anywhere.

Paul Hollis explained why he created the event: “Following Matt’s death I wanted to do something to show support to his partner, Su. As a keen runner -and the irony is not lost on me that Matt was not a keen runner - I decided to organise a virtual event, The Ratana 10k.

“The Ratana 10k was not about getting PBs, it was about people coming out in support of Matt, and boy, did that happen.”

Also benefitting from the event is the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation established by his former friends and colleagues at East Grinstead Rugby Club.

Mr Hollis said he hoped this year’s virtual run will be even bigger: “My intention for this event is to involve the rugby community as rugby was Matt’s passion. I would like rugby clubs up and down the country to participate. I also have a personal mission to involve every Police force in the country.”

He's well on track to achieving that goal and has the support from top British athletes including Olympic medal winner Dame Kelly Holmes and marathon legend Paula Radcliffe.

West Midlands Police Federation members are among those taking part.

Fed secretary Steve Grange welcomed the return of the event and is encouraging officers to take part.

“It is fantastic to see the return of The Ratana 10k, a special event in honour of a lost colleague. Paul has done a wonderful job in bringing people together to raise money and remember Matt,” Steve said.

A team from Suffolk Constabulary have already completed their run – and shared their finish line photo proudly on social media.

Also collecting their medals are the Dorset Police Firearms and Operational Training Unit.

They shared on social media: “As per current covid guidelines and post shift a few members of the team and the Guv’nor completed the 2021 Ratana 10k, raising funds in the memory of PS Matt Ratana.”

Staffordshire Police Federation are encouraging others to join in: “Branch chair Glyn Pattinson is encouraging officers to get involved in the Ratana 10k.”

There’s still time to take part – and you’ll get a medal plus a T-shirt for getting involved.

To find out who's already taken part, use #ratana10k on Twitter 

To sign up, go HERE

To find out more about the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation, go HERE

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