THERE was a festival atmosphere on Bournemouth seafront yesterday as more than 150 people in fancy dress participated in a fun run in memory of a young sportsman.
Steve Bernard, who lived in Winton and attended Bournemouth School, was killed in a car crash aged 18 in 2005.
Tony Bernard, Steve’s father, has organised a fun run each year in his honour to raise money for local charities and said he is touched people continue to attend.
“This is our eighth year. We get so much support and every single penny raised will go to charity,” he added.
“The weather is beautiful today like it has been every year we’ve done this. I think my son must be smiling down on us.
“Steve always loved fancy dress so it is apt that everybody has put so much effort into their costumes.”
Crowds of people watched as the runners, who were dressed in an assortment of outfits from Thunderbirds to nuns, prepared to jog from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier and back again.
Three men in black leotards who danced energetically to Beyonce hit All the Single Ladies drew particular applause from passers-by before the mayor, Cllr Rod Cooper, counted down from ten in unison with the crowd to formally start the race.
The mayor’s charities will benefit from the event, with proceeds going to Wessex Cancer Trust, Diverse Abilities Plus, Coda Fiddle and Bournemouth Churches Housing Association.
Steve aspired to be a PE teacher and since his death the Steve Bernard Foundation has raised more than £180,000 for sporting projects across the south.
Sue Arnold, who works at St Mark’s Primary School where Steve was a pupil, said money raised in previous years has helped the school install a sandpit and provide tricycles to help children with cerebral palsy.
Ms Arnold added: “He was just the loveliest boy.”