SPORTY students across the area ditched their uniforms for wacky outfits and running gear in aid of this year’s Sport Relief effort.
Schoolchildren cycled, crawled, cartwheeled and ran a mile or more in aid of the national campaign on Friday (March 21) – raising hundreds of pounds for needy causes.
At The Littlehampton Academy, in Fitzalan Road, more than 200 year-seven children took part in either a one-mile cycle or cross-country run around the school or a gruelling three-mile ride or run.
Before the youngsters tackled the race, they were shown a hard-hitting video by the academy’s chaplain, Paul Sanderson, showing how the money they raise is put to good use helping street children in Uganda.
Tyler Gardener, 11, said the video had ‘inspired’ him to push himself as hard as possible while tackling the three-mile course.
“I think it was quite inspiring how we were running to raise money for poor children in Africa,” he said after completing his three-mile effort.
Mr Sanderson, who played uplifting music to motivate the children during their race, said Sport Relief made a real difference to the people it helps.
He said last year a team of students from across Sussex, including some from the academy, went out to Uganda to see how the money helped to brighten the lives of street children.
“It was a privilege to work with those children but heartbreaking to see them go on the streets at night,” he explained. “Sport Relief money absolutely makes a difference – we have seen it hands-on – and the work that our students did today, running one mile, three miles – those pounds and those pennies will get more children of the streets of Uganda.”
Students at The Angmering School hobbled their way around a field when they took part in a three-legged fun run.
All of the students completed six tiring laps around the field, with some leisurely jogging and the more competitive racers competing for first place.
In the end, it was year-nines Connor Wheat, 14, and Morgan Day, 13, who came first, beating a number of older students in the process.
Morgan said: “We wanted to take part because it’s for charity. But it does feel good to beat the older students for first place.”
Students from different year groups were sponsored to take part in the run, with many dressing in a range of outfits, including retro school uniforms and onesies.
The school hopes the event will raise several hundred pounds for Sport Relief.
PE teacher Wendy Howell took part in the run with year-nine student Isabelle Rodda.
She said: “The run was held to raise funds for Sport Relief, but it’s also about students having a brilliant day in the sun. It’s about fun, team spirit and working together.”
At the Arundel C of E Primary School, pupils from reception right up to year-five ran a mile around their school field, in Jarvis Road.
They needed to complete eight laps in their field to hit the distance.
The event was organised by PE co-ordinator Sandra Rees and Lee Tillyer, community development co-ordinator for Inspire Leisure. It raised more than £200.
Lee said the fundraiser was a good way of getting the children outside and using sport to help needy communities.
School head teacher Andrew Simpson said he was ‘very proud’ of all the pupils’ hard work.
Nationally, Sport Relief raised more than £51m.