Pupils and teachers raise over £1,000 in marathon-inspired challenge

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School pupils

Inspired by the London Marathon, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School pupils swam thousands of lengths. - Credit: St Mary’s Catholic Primary School/Catherine Ellett

A Hornchurch primary school has raised over £1,000 for Saint Francis Hospice by swimming 3,373 lengths.

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School swimming teacher Catherine Ellett ran the London Marathon last weekend (October 3) in her father's memory.

She then challenged her pupils to swim the equivalent distance - 3,373 lengths - in the school's swimming pool.

Children were sponsored to swim as many lengths as they could in their lessons to fundraise for the hospice, with £1,246.30 raised so far.

Catherine, who attended the school herself, told the Recorder: "It was an inclusive challenge that everyone could get involved in, from Reception to Year 6 pupils.

Catherine Ellett and pupils

Catherine Ellett encouraged pupils to swim the equivalent of the London Marathon for Saint Francis Hospice - Credit: St Mary’s Catholic Primary School/Catherine Ellett


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"Teachers even got on board, swimming before school and in their lunch breaks."

She said many staff had their own connections to the hospice, which cared for their loved ones in the final stages of their lives.

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"It was the first time many teachers had gotten into the pool, and was brilliant to see.

"It was great for our sense of morale."

Donate to the fundraiser at https://tinyurl.com/stmarysswim

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