“It felt different to a football match because the whole school was working together to help others – there was a really great atmosphere.”
These were the words of a year 8 pupil at Westbourne House School, which hosted its first ever triathlon over the weekend. See pictures from the event here
More than fifty teams of children from the Chichester school, aged eight to 13, swam, cycled and ‘ran their hearts out’ in a bid to raise as much money as they could for their school charities on Saturday.
A school spokesperson said: “Grey skies and drizzle could not dampen the spirits of 150 children. In teams of three or four with names including Cool Carrots, Running Wild and Golden Eagles. Each pupil swam and cycled in relay and then they ran different distances in their teams according to their age. Nobody was timed as it was all about supporting each other, team work and having fun."
One year 7 pupil said it was ‘brilliant fun’, adding: “The best bit was all being able to run together at the end and celebrating on the podium.”
Headmaster Martin Barker said: “Now we no longer have Saturday school we have more time to spend on whole school community events and support others who need our help. I am so proud of all the children who threw themselves into every discipline in spite of the weather and I loved hearing the laughter and seeing their smiles.
“At Westbourne House School we are very keen encourage every child to do as many different activities as possible to keep healthy and happy and be the best that they can be. We hope to do more events like our triathlon to support our local community as well as share our school with others.”
Helen Barker, head of the school’s fundraising committee, said the event raised nearly £2,000.
She said: “We are extremely grateful to all the children, staff, parents and our sponsor, Jackson-Stops, who made this event happen.”
The charities the children at Westbourne House School voted to support were; Chichester Down Syndrome Support Group, which helps local children with Down Syndrome, and their families, in Chichester and Arun; Team UnLimbited, which makes 3D arms for children who were born without them; Sausage Tree Charity, which advances the education and well-being of children in the Luangwa Valley in Zambia and the Westbourne House Bursary Fund for children who would like to consider a Westbourne House education.
Volunteer fundraiser Natalie Hodges, from the Chichester Down Syndrome Support Group said: “Thank you Westbourne House for a fantastic fundraising effort. The funds raised will help support our children with Down syndrome for example those who go to our pre-school early development group learning sounds with games, music and bubbles and our school age children who need vital one-to-one speech therapy.”
The triathlon was sponsored by Jackson-Stops estate agents in Midhurst. Director, Nick Ferrier, said: “I was very proud to see the staff, parents and children participate so cheerfully in the Westbourne House Triathlon which underpinned fundraising for some excellent charities.
"It was a really heartening day and Jackson-Stops was delighted to play their part in sponsoring such a great event.”