The Children’s Trust’s Dalton Leong shares his perfect Surrey weekend
- Credit: Archant
As chief executive of The Children’s Trust, a charity providing specialist rehabilitation to children with brain injury, Dalton Leong makes the most of his time away from the office, relaxing in the Surrey countryside
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2017
As an early riser, my weekends begin with a morning run. I love running but I need a target, so this year I have set myself a few challenges; the Vitality London 10,000, the Great Newham 10k Run and two half marathons, the Great North Run and the Royal Parks Half in aid of The Children’s Trust. My training takes me to Horton Country Park nature reserve in Epsom. Whenever possible, I prefer to run off-road and get away from the car fumes. There are some great running paths where you can see right out into the distance, and the bluebell woodland is truly stunning in the springtime. Box Hill is another favourite of mine. Last year I took part in a trek to Everest Base Camp, and the Stepping Stones walk down to the River Mole and back up again was part of my regular training regime.
Running in the Surrey countryside helps me to relax, and it’s been a really great way to meet people and share training tips. In fact, I’ve been sharing running tips with Paul Philpott, CEO and President of Kia Motors, based in Walton-on-Thames. He is running the London Marathon this year and has raised over £30,000 for The Children’s Trust so far. Simply brilliant!
My afternoons tend to be consumed by shopping with my teenage daughter, who spends most of her time vlogging these days. I often think that she is talking to me, only to find that she is sharing her thoughts with the rest of the world! So spending time together in Kingston browsing the shops and market can be sacred. One of the nicest areas of Kingston is the Ancient Market. I always think of the statue, by English sculptor Francis Bird, on the balcony of the old town hall as the market’s guardian as she watches over the area which has seem many changes over the year. It’s now a wonderful place that offers fantastic food, arts, music, festivals and vintage stalls. It’s also the place where I finished the 16-mile Kingston Breakfast Run as part of my training for the London Marathon.
The rest of my weekend tends to be dominated by following my life-long favourite football team, Chelsea, and by amateur musical theatre, another way that I relax. I enjoy watching performances, the most recent being Sweeney Todd at the Adrian Mann Theatre at Nescot, Epsom. I also like to perform and am a member and President of Epsom Players. I usually participate in one performance a year, which means rehearsing one evening a week and at the weekend. Auditions are about to open for our next show, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which will be fun, so watch this space.
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Eating out on a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon is always a pleasure and I really enjoy the restaurants in and around Ewell village; there are so many good ones to choose from. The Neapolitan Kitchen on the High Street is one of my favourites, as is its next-door neighbour, Il Laghetto.
Yet the highlight weekend of the year has to be The Supercar Event at Dunsfold Park, home of Top Gear. It’s a wonderful family fun day, where visitors can take a ride in some of the world’s most exciting supercars – and spot a few celebrity faces while they’re there. All this while raising money to support The Children’s Trust and making a difference to the lives of children with brain injury.
- The Supercar Event takes place on Saturday June 24 and Sunday June 25. Tickets (pre-booked): family (2 adult, 2 children aged 4-16), £30; adults, £12; children and concessions, £8. To find out more and book, visit thesupercarevent.com