Schools take to track to help poor children

Olympic athlete Laura Weightman takes part in children's running event at Morpeth's KEVI High School. REF 2310131888
Olympic athlete Laura Weightman takes part in children's running event at Morpeth's KEVI High School. REF 2310131888

Students at a trio of Morpeth schools worked up a sweat to support a charity that saves children’s lives in the world’s poorest countries.

And the two teams from The Three Rivers Learning Trust were among the top performers in the World Marathon Challenge.

The pupils, aged 12 and 13, from King Edward VI School, Chantry Middle School and Newminster Middle School, ran in a relay set-up until they completed the full marathon distance at KEVI’s athletics track on World Food Day.

Schools from more than 50 countries across the globe participated at the same time.

The schools were delighted to welcome 2012 Olympic 1500m finalist Laura Weightman, a Morpeth Harrier, who ran the opening leg with the students.

Victoria Najafi, head of student voice, leadership and enrichment at KEVI, said: “Congratulations to all the students who participated.

“Many thanks to Anne Guy from Save the Children for her help in ensuring that they received Save the Children goodie bags and we’re grateful to The Flagman in Morpeth for the production of a commemorative flag, which was presented to Laura Weightman by Year 9 student David Thompson, and Angela Mavin for the kind donation of water from Coca-Cola Enterprises.”

Thanks also went to Carly-ann Croft, a personal health and wellness coach from Herbalife, Les Milne from Save the Children, who delivered assemblies at all schools before the challenge, and school administrative assistant Sarah Bulman for her help with organisation and the provision of refreshments.

Victoria added: “The times by both teams are fantastic achievements and we’re hoping to win the title of fastest time in the north east for the ages 13 and under category, which we also won last year.”

The challenge is part of Save the Children’s efforts to tackle global hunger. The charity wants leaders to put the issue at the top of their agenda and set ambitious targets to dramatically reduce the number of children who die or are permanently damaged because they are unable to get the food they need.

Its chief executive officer, Justin Forsyth, said: “Every year, more than seven million children in the poorest parts of the world die from easily preventable causes like diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia.

“Some children lose their lives simply because they can’t get the nutritious food that they need.

“By taking part in this challenge, pupils are working together with other schools from across the globe to help Save the Children really make a difference in stamping out preventable deaths in children.”