Running to support a nursery school

This week Vicky meets runner and headteacher of a Chichester Nursery School, Ruth Campbell.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 10:38 am
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 10:41 am
Ruth Campbell

What event are you taking part in and why?

​I will be running the Bognor 10k on Sunday, May 19 to raise desperately needed money for our nursery. We have a large number of children with additional needs and who need extra support. We don’t receive the funding we need to support them in the way that we would like to and, like all schools, we are being asked to do more with less.

As a new headteacher, this is a really tough position to be in; you feel really powerless. So I made the only decision I felt I could – to put the extra staffing in place and do this run to raise the money [£4,200].

I am a very anti-social runner and have always vowed I would never enter races. However, if you are asking people to sponsor you, you have to do something that is costly to you personally.

Talk me through how you got into running and how it makes you feel.

I have been running for a couple of years. I started off going to the gym (as you do to try and keep the weight down and work off my love of food and wine!), but the treadmill became really tedious.

I tried running outside and realised I was able to run for longer, because I was motivated by a physical route.

I can’t say I love it, but I do feel good afterwards, apart from the aching limbs!

You have a busy job as Head of a thriving nursery. How do you manage to squeeze training into your schedule?

It’s not easy and I’m not always as disciplined as I should be.

I go really early in the morning before work, so I get up around 5.30am.

Once I nearly fell into a bush because it was so dark and I couldn’t see where the path was. I have to use the torch on my phone to try and light the way.

Why is nursery such a valuable experience for children and what skills and advantages does it give them?

Children’s brains develop at their fastest rate during the first four years of life, so it is crucial that we maximise the opportunities for them to learn and develop during this time.

Children learn best through play and a nursery environment like ours gives them opportunities to develop their social and language skills, to be creative and to develop physically.

Are you running with anyone else?

I am so pleased to have support from two amazing parents from the nursery, who are running the race with me.

Both have had children at the nursery for a long time and one is one of our governors. It is amazing to know that our parents believe in what we do so much that they will help support us in this way.

How can we sponsor you?

Please visit to donate.

For more information about Chichester Nursery School: