A youngster whose “selfless and loyal friendship” with a leukaemia patient led to him entering the 2016 Junior Great North Run has been honoured by the town.
Kyle Warner (10) was named Crowland Young Achiever of 2017 in the under-13 category for his unfailing support of friend Isaac Fell (11) at an awards ceremony on Wednesday.
The event, organised by Crowland Parish Council, brought families, friends and parish councillors to South View Community Primary School, where exceptional acts by children and young people in the community were recognised.
Kyle was nominated by Isaac’s family, who said: “Kyle and Isaac first met when they were selected for the same football team at the age of five.
“As well as team-mates, they became great friends who trained together at Nene Valley Harriers (NVH) Athletics Club.
“In February 2016, following a short illness, Isaac was diagnosed with leukaemia and Kyle was devastated that his friend was so ill.
Kyle would track back and take over from Isaac early in the lap, running the extra distance with a massive smile on his faceThe Fell family, of Tallington
“But in true competitive style, Kyle was determined to help us raise money for our #teamfell appeal which benefits four charities: Children with Cancer UK, CLIC Sargent, Starlight Children’s Foundation and Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group.”
Kyle, who attends South View Community Primary School, helped Isaac hold a cake sale at Crowland Juniors Football Club and ran for his friend at the Great Manchester Junior Run in May 2016.
Four months later, Kyle and his family took part in the Great North Run and followed that by entering the Great Eastern Run in Peterborough just four weeks later.
Isaac goes to William Hildyard Primary School in Market Deeping, and his family added: “At NVH, Kyle got together with Isaac for a race where juniors are put in pairs to run alternate laps over one mile.
“Kyle knew that Isaac wouldn’t be able to run very quickly and that a full lap would be too much for him.
“So Kyle would track back and take over from Isaac early in the lap, running the extra distance with a massive smile on his face.
“That race summed up Kyle’s selfless and loyal friendship with Isaac and we don’t think there’s a greater achievement than that.”
Darren and Emma Warner, Kyle’s parents, said: “We’re extremely proud of him and we’ve never had to ask him any runs for Isaac because it’s what he’s wanted to do.
“Normally, Kyle is really competitive but he just wants to be really supportive of Isaac and he’s never been worried about putting his competitiveness to one side for his friend.
“Kyle’s sister, Millie, was also nominated for the award and they both deserved it for caring about other people.”
Kyle’s head teacher at South View Community Primary School, Crowland, Joanne Tomlins, said: “Kyle has always been one of our top sportsmen but whilst the award given was for something he did during a race, Kyle was actually recognised for his caring and compassionate behaviour.
“Whilst running, Kyle felt it necessary to support his friend Isaac Fell and would not stop until they were both over the finish line.
“For the staff here at South View, it was important to recognise Kyle’s high moral values as he clearly put the needs of others over his own personal gain.”