HUNDREDS of schoolchildren in Angmering have once again ditched their uniforms in favour of wacky outfits and running shoes to brighten the life of a disabled girl.
More than 200 children from years seven to nine at The Angmering School ran a gruelling five-mile course to raise money for eight-year-old Sophie Nugent, on Friday (March 14).
Sophie, who lives in the village, has cerebral palsy and struggles to walk unaided. For the past four years, the school has been raising cash to help pay for vital, life-altering physiotherapy for the brave youngster.
Friday’s effort is set to raise well in excess of £2,000 for Sophie.
Sophie’s mum, Debbie, 36, said: “The support we’ve had from Angmering is absolutely amazing.
“It’s very important to keep Sophie’s physiotherapy going and we really couldn’t do it without the school’s help.”
She added: “Sophie has had quite a bad year this year. She had a seizure which has really set her back a bit but she is a really brave little girl and is such a fighter.”
Last year’s event saw Sophie run just under a mile from The Angmering School’s field to Worthing Rugby Club, in Roundstone Lane – an amazing achievement considering that less than three years before she struggled to take a few steps.
And despite this year’s seizure setback, determined Sophie still managed to run to the end of the school’s field and back.
“It was quite hard,” said a breathless Sophie after her run.
The event was organised by year 12 and 13 sports leaders.
The route saw the young runners tackling a five-mile course from the school, out to Roundstone Lane, and then cross-country to the top of Highdown and back.
Ed Whiffin, head of PE at the school, said that this year was one of the most well-attended runs yet.
“It’s such a strange one, the first time we did the run it was raining, next year it was sunny and then last year we had snow,” said Mr Whiffin. “This year we had fog!
“But it was a great event. We had a really good turn-out from year-nine – probably the best one yet.”
He added the run was an important part of the school’s community work and that the student sports leaders played a vital part in organising it.
“Without them we wouldn’t be able to run it,” he added.
The money raised will help to pay for Sophie’s physiotherapy treatment at specialist rehabilitation centre in Wales.
For a picture special of the event, see today’s Littlehampton Gazette (Thursday, March 20).