Students to run 680-mile Charity Relay from Paris to St Andrews

Eric Liddell 100 Logo

Students honour Eric Liddell’s Legacy whilst raising money for charity on the Centenary of his Olympic Triumph

From 26th of May to the 1st of June, 12 students will run a 680 mile relay from Paris to St Andrews in tribute to the Scottish sprinter Eric Liddell and marking 100 years since his gold medal win at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

Led by Michael Scott, director of the Hope Alive tour, pupils from Eltham College in South East London (where Liddell attended between 1908 - 1920) and St Leonards School in St Andrews are participating in the challenge with a goal of raising money for their three chosen charites; Personal Best Foundation, Mary's Meals UK and the Eric Liddell Community.

Starting on Sunday 26th May at Scots Kirk Church just off the Champs Elysees in Paris where Liddell famously gave a sermon, they will cross the line in St Andrews on Saturday 1st June. Several events will take place along the route of the relay including a fitting checkpoint at Trinity College in Cambridge - the location for Oscar-winning film, Chariots of Fire, which portrays Liddell's Olympic triumph. The students will take a short pause to their relay to attend a service to celebrate the life of Eric Liddell at Great St Mary’s the University Church of Cambridge before making their way North with several stops along the way including a reception at the French Consulate in Edinburgh.

40 years ago, the Oscar winning film ‘Chariots of Fire’ captured the story of Eric Liddell’s triumph in the 1924 Paris Olympics and the students believe it is time for his story to be revived on the centenary of this gold medal. Through participation in this event, the students will be exhibiting his characteristics of perseverance, resilience, integrity, commitment and excellence that underpinned his athletic success, rugby career and missionary work.

"We are honoured to commemorate Eric Liddell's centenary through this remarkable charity run. His legacy of selflessness and dedication serves as a timeless inspiration, and we are proud to support causes that reflect his values. The students have learnt softer skill needed in life and technical skills, such as leadership and risk management,  which are needed to navigate life’s challenges”

Michael Scott, Project Lead

The Eric Liddell 100 campaign – of which Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal is the Patron - was launched in 2022, and remains committed in its promise to celebrate the life and the sporting and community service achievements of Eric Liddell. Through various initiatives, events, and activities the campaign aims to honour his memory and share the timeless lessons of his life with the world.

John MacMillan, CEO of the Eric Liddell 100, said:

“We are deeply moved by the dedication and spirit displayed by these remarkable students as they head off on this extraordinary journey to commemorate Eric Liddell’s centenary. Their commitment to sharing his story and values through this 680-mile charity relay is truly inspiring. Our charity is built on Eric’s three values: passion, compassion and integrity. These students show that Eric’s way of living stays true today still, and I am proud to see it shown in such a meaningful way all these years later.”

Amy Weaver-Tyler, Personal Best Foundation Manager, said:

We're incredibly grateful to the students for selecting us as one of their chosen charities and we wish them the very best best of luck for what I'm sure will be a challenging but memorable experience. We will be following their progress with a great deal of respect and admiration. 

To share the story the students have created a short film which includes an exclusive interview with Lord David Puttnam, who directed Chariots of Fire and Murray Watts Home | Murray Watts Writer and Director  who wrote and created a short film which tells the story of Eric’s life.