Collier Row school challenges pupils to match marathon miles of teacher

Collier Row school encouraging pupils to keep active

Pupils at Clockhouse Primary School have been taking part in a charity walking challenge in recent weeks using a newly-installed track in the playground. - Credit: Gavin Koten

Pupils at a Collier Row school have been challenged to match the marathon miles being run by their teacher as part of an annual fundraiser.

While Clockhouse Primary School organises a sponsored walk every year, the charitable exploits of one of its teachers means 2021 comes with a bit of a twist.

Gavin Koten, head of the PA Our Clockhouse Association (OCA), said: "This is normally a school initiative, but Matt Pye asked us if we wanted to get involved because he's doing both the London and Brighton marathons this year."

Collier Row school encouraging pupils to keep active

The pupils' challenge is to collectively rack up as many - or more - miles than the 52 being run by teacher Mr Pye across two marathons. - Credit: Gavin Koten

Together they came up with the idea to ask pupils - in groups - to collectively walk the 52 miles their teacher will be running in the coming months.

The key stage two group were first up two weeks ago. 

Across that week, pupils from Years 3 to 6 walked a combined 104 miles.

Last week pupils in Years 1 and 2 - alongside Reception - walked 53 miles.

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Children in the school's nursery are walking this week, albeit the challenge has been relaxed to reflect their young age.

The miles are being completed on a purpose track recently installed on the school's playground.

Mr Koten said this new addition is part of an ongoing effort to ensure pupils are as active as possible.

Collier Row school encouraging pupils to keep active

The school had a 'Mile a Day' track installed in the playground around a month ago to encourage children to walk this distance each day. - Credit: Gavin Koten

Clockhouse operates The Daily Mile, which means pupils are encouraged to walk or run that distance every day at school.

It's one of more than 12,000 schools - across more than 80 countries - that subscribes to the initiative.

"The new track is perfect for helping pupils know exactly how far they're walking and running; it has been perfect for this challenge," said Mr Koten.

Their efforts have caught the eye of marathon man Mr Pye: "I have been so impressed with how the children have approached the challenge with a smile on their face and shown great resilience; not only trying to beat me, but their own scores from previous days."

The teacher knows the benefits of regular exercise better than most, and wanted pupils to share in those rewards.

For Mr Pye, it's not only important that pupils are more active, but that they enjoy being so. 

The money raised will be split equally between Mr Pye's chosen charity - The Honeypot Children's Charity - OCA and the school.