Runners in three continents raise £8,000 for charities
A Bedales School team of 34 runners entered the Great South Run in Southsea on 21/22 October and raised an impressive £8,000 for two education charities.
Pupils, staff, parents and alumni joined forces to run in the event on Sunday 22 October, which boasts Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe as former winners and is one of the largest and most prestigious events in the world’s running calendar.
The junior and adult 5km events held the day before Sunday’s 10 mile race were cancelled this year due to high winds and battering waves from Storm Brian. However, three intrepid seven year-old children at Bedales Pre-prep School, Dunannie - Dare, Annabel and Madeleine – would not let the weather deter them; they ran their own Great South Mini event around the Bedales School estate, culminating in a special ceremony and celebration tea at the school on Saturday. To replace their cancelled event, the 5k runners are returning for the Southsea Park Run in November.
Fortunately the weather improved for the Bedales 10 mile team and the 20,000 competitors in Sunday’s race which included Headmaster Keith Budge and his wife Moony who teaches Academic Support at Bedales Prep, Dunhurst. Maths teacher Greg Clarke was the first Bedales team member to cross the finish line in an impressive 1’06’28 (1 hour, 6 minutes and 28 seconds).
There was an international flavour to the Bedales team. Two teachers accompanying overseas school trips ran equivalent distances over the same weekend in two different continents in Vermont, US and Swaziland.
Donations are being shared between two charities, one international and one UK based: Cecily’s Fund supports orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS in Zambia, enabling them to gain an education; the John Badley Foundation provides transformational opportunities for young people to benefit from a Bedales education through fully funded bursaries.
Alison and Basil Eastwood, co-founders of Cecily’s Fund, said:
"We are delighted that a team from Bedales competed in the Great South Run for Cecily’s Fund. Cecily loved her time at Bedales from 1991-96 - and Bedales loved her. She was working with Zambian children orphaned by AIDS when tragically she died in a car crash just at the end of her gap year. Her Fund continues her work and since then has enabled over 20,000 destitute children to complete their school education, not least thanks to the support of the school she loved."
Bedales runner and Product Design student Albie Waterton, who was the beneficiary of a John Badley Foundation bursary at the school, commented:
"One of the key things that I came away from Bedales having learnt and I find myself using in my day to day life is to never miss an opportunity when it arises. So whenever there is an opportunity to give back to the John Badley Foundation, it is the least that I could do for all it has given to me. Giving back is one of the most gratifying things you can do, and for me, the biggest and sole reward is the realisation that you have made a powerful step to make a significant change in someone else's life."
The date for the next Great South Run has been announced as Sunday 21 October 2018 and Bedales has confirmed it will be entering a team again next year.