May 03, 2018
Sarries track club member up for London Children of Courage Award
Robbie Corker is a young man with severe autism who attends two of the Saracens Sport Foundation’s disABILITY programmes; Sarrie’s Skills Club and Sarrie’s Track Club and recently completed the London Marathon.
Robbie’s autism means that he struggles with everyday situations and social interaction including a dislike of loud noises, crowded spaces and people he doesn’t know. Robbie has very limited speech but has learned some phrases and can answer most questions with single words or short responses.
This year Robbie decided, along with his father, to run the marathon for the second time in support of the Saracens Sport Foundation. Robbie’s training was going smoothly and he completed the South Downs Half Marathon a few weeks before the big day. Unfortunately, during this event, his father David picked up a muscular injury which put the chances of Robbie completing the marathon in huge jeopardy as it would have been far too short notice for Robbie to run with anybody else. David attended physio and completed several days of rehab exercises before making the final decision two days before the marathon to compete!
On the big day, Robbie and his father were in great spirits and looking forward to another marathon together as they set off to run the gruelling 26.2 miles ahead. After about 15 miles, Robbie’s father David realised that after not training for a few weeks and still carrying a small injury that he was holding Robbie back and would not be able to keep up over the last leg of the race. With this in mind, David made the brave decision to give Robbie his best wishes and advice before telling him to complete the marathon on his own…
Robbie, who struggles with loud noises, big crowds and people he doesn’t know, then went on to complete the last 10 miles of the London marathon by himself!
Once David finished the race in what he believed to be about 30 minutes behind Robbie, he started to look for his son to head home. After checking numerous places and speaking to numerous people, David could not locate Robbie. Just as he was about to check elsewhere he received a phone call from his wife: ‘Where are you? Robbie has just returned home’.
Robbie had completed the last 10 miles of the London marathon, before making his way home to Mill Hill from The Mall by himself, on one of the busiest days of the year for London transport.
Robbie’s story is truly inspirational and his father David believes: "that’s what running can do for someone, the confidence to know he can make his own choices, and to astound us who put limits on what he can do."
This Thursday, Robbie and his family along with representatives from the Saracens Sport Foundation will be attending the London Children of Courage Awards where Robbie is nominated for ‘Inspirational Fundraiser’ for his efforts during his first marathon. We wish Robbie all the best and hope he is fully recognised for his truly amazing achievements.