On Sunday 17th June, 310 students and staff from Durrington High School took part in the Cancer Research UK Race for Life on Worthing seafront. This is the third year that the school has entered the event, taking teams of 17 and 33 previously, but this was the first year the opportunity was opened out to all girls from years 7-10. The girls were told about the Race for Life and the work of Cancer Research UK during a week of assemblies, following which they were given information about signing up to the DHS team. We were overwhelmed by the response, with numbers climbing steadily after each assembly, finally reaching the amazing number of 281 students and 29 staff.
281 students represents 46% of the students that were eligible to enter the Race for Life and we are very proud to have so many students interested in getting active and raising money for such a great cause. After contacting Race for Life they confirmed that we were one of the biggest teams to take part in a Race for Life nationwide –impressive considering the aim was to get the biggest school team into the Worthing race!
On the Friday prior to the race all those taking part attended a final assembly where they were given logistical information (taking 281 students to an event takes a lot of organising!), received their Team Durrington t-shirts and listened to some inspiring words from year 10 student Caitlin Campbell. Caitlin’s younger sister, Keira, was diagnosed with leukaemia 2 years ago and Caitlin spoke passionately about how the pioneering work of Cancer Research UK is changing the outcomes of people’s lives, including that of Keira who, having received brand new treatment is currently cancer free and recovering from a bone marrow transplant.
The day of the race was perfect running conditions, dry and not too hot! As the huge team began to gather it was amazing to see the swarm of the pink Team Durrington t-shirts grow. During the warm-up it was clear to see that the DHS Team was certainly the largest team there. Again, Caitlin took to the stage to share her story with the crowd, receiving loud and encouraging whoops and cheers from her supportive peers and teachers.
Finally at 11am it was time for the race to begin and the team headed to the start line. The students were happy and excited as they ran past the cheering crowds. 23 minutes and 11 seconds later the first member of Team Durrington crossed the line –Miss Wolstenholme – such an impressive time and third overall in the race. Shortly behind her was our first student, year 9 Keely Taylor followed quickly by Mrs Nixon and year 7 Ivy Hite. The students then started to come through at regular intervals –all with an exhausted smile on their face, full of pride at what they had achieved. However tired many of them were, it wasn’t long before they were asking ‘can we do it again next year?’ which is testament to the great time that was had by everyone. It was certainly a day in which everyone went ‘beyond their best.’
So far the students and staff Just Giving page has reached £4665 (plus £960.63 in gift aid), something which everyone that took part is very proud of.
Thanks must go to Mrs Graney, Miss Wallis-Tayler, Mrs Larks and Mr Woodcock for their hard work in organising Team Durrington’s participation in such a worthwhile event.