Sunday, 29 November 2015

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Sport Relief: Cumbrian children take a stroll together – to London

Cumbrians have been doing their bit to raise funds for this year’s Sport Relief.

Brook Street school photo
Children took part in a Sport Relief event

Events were taking place in schools, shops and businesses yesterday ahead of last night’s TV marathon and sponsored Sport Relief Miles which are being held across the country this weekend.

In Carlisle, the youngest children of 200-pupil Brook Street School pretended to be trains, planes and caterpillars as the school embarked on their own long-distance challenge to reach London.

Children aged three to five were the first to take part in the challenge of trying to clock up 420km (260 miles), the equivalent distance between Carlisle and London, before the end of the school day.

Teacher Ruth Walsh said: “The foundation stage children pretended to be planes, trains and caterpillars as they went round the course.

“We did it a class at a time. Others have been going round backwards, hopping, skipping or jogging. Some have been scarlet when they’ve come back into school, but all of the children have really loved taking part.

“We don’t have a school field so when it comes to doing activities we have to be imaginative so we went out with our trundle to work out what laps we could all do in the playground.

“On average each participant completed 10 laps. All the pupils donated £2 each, which included the purchase of their Sport Relief sweatband and a donation. Parents and visitors also came down to take part and we’ve had a totaliser clocking up the distance throughout the day.”

Brook Street School hopes to raise at least £500.

At Warwick Bridge Primary School, pupils were allowed to dress as their sporting heroes and they held their own Sport Relief mile.

Staff at Sports Direct in Carlisle have already raised £800 and hope to reach £1,000 by the time the weekend is over.

Assistant manager Dan Smith and shop assistants Christian Smith, Wayne Blockley and Chris Holding started a sponsored bike ride yesterday.

By the end of the weekend the men hope to have cycled the equivalent distance between Carlisle and London on a spinning bike that is on the ground floor of the Scotch Street store.

As well as sponsorship, the staff have also done a sponsored leg wax and 15 workers spent Friday night on a haunted sleep-over in the underground section of the city’s railway station to boost funds.

Elsewhere, three of the most high-profile public servants in Cumbria are taking part in a 24-hour spinathon in Penrith.

Chief Constable Stuart Hyde, assistant chief fire officer Justin Johnston and Jim Savege, the county council’s director for organisational development, are cycling on the static bikes at Elite Fitness.

Justin said: “Personally one of my reasons for taking part is show that fitness is important, I chair the national Operational Firefighter Standards group known as Firefit, and like to encourage all operational firefighters to be fit for their whole career.

“I’m also more of a runner than a cyclist so it’s going to be a challenge for me.”

Mr Hyde said: “Sports Relief encourages people to take part in exercise and raise money for charity at the same time. What we are doing will be challenging and we would love to have as much support from the community in order to raise as much money as possible.”

The 24-hour challenge will relocate to the Great Dockray car park this afternoon for the final hour, starting at 3pm, where instructor Vicky will lead a full class to boost the morale of the Sport Relief spinners.

Elite Fitness is also hosting street dancing displays and a Zumba session to boost the total.

Students from Southfield Technology College in Workington raised more than £200 with a day of activities ranging from 10-pin bowling to a waterslide and assault course.

They also hurled wet sponges at teachers and other pupils, with around 150 taking part.

The students went orienteering around Moorclose, Salterbeck and Westfield, and the day formed part of their BTEC Sports Science qualification.

Phil Stannett, crew manager at Workington fire station, provided equipment for the waterslide and assault course.

Pupil Ashleigh Motum, 15, said: “We came up with the idea of the waterslide and assault course as part of our course.

“We had to design the route and also had to make sure the course was safe.”

Classmate Shelby Hawkins, 16, added: “My training coach donated the Zorb Ball to us for the day, which was really good of him.

“Everyone has made loads of effort, it’s been a really good day.”

Cockermouth pupils hoped to have raised more than £1,000 for Sport Relief and celebrated the Olympics by holding a day of sporting activities.

All the pupils paid £1 for a non-uniform day while the sixth form students wore pyjamas with sporting activities taking place around the school.

Cake sales took place in the school hall, there was an obstacle race and crossbar challenge on the all-weather pitches and shoot the hoop and golf putting in the sports hall.

Entry fees ranged from 30p to £1 and all the winners received either an Easter Egg or a lolly.

Jenny Johnson, 17, chairwoman of the school’s charity committee said: “We hope to raise a lot of money for Sport Relief as well as having a lot of fun and celebrating the Olympics.

“Everybody has been really enthusiastic and enjoying the sun outside.”

Headteacher Geoff Walker said: “The student charity committee has organised a very active day to benefit all the students in the school as well as to raise funds for this worthy cause.

“It has been absolutely great and the good thing is that the sixth form took responsibility and organised virtually the whole thing themselves.”

Many raising funds this weekend will have been inspired by Cumbria’s own all-action girl Helen Skelton and comedian John Bishop.

Helen, from Kirkby Thore, trekked 500 miles across Antarctica to reach the South Pole and John cycled, rowed and ran between Paris and London on his own “Week of Hell”.

  • Tomorrow Sport Relief Miles – with one, three and six-mile options at most events – will be taking place at the Sheepmount in Carlisle, Newton Rigg College’s campus near Penrith, Annan’s Everholm, Maryport’s Netherhall grounds, St Joseph’s School in Workington and the Cumbria Sports Academy in Whitehaven. Log on to for further details.



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