Joshua inspires teachers

Joshua Draycott and teachers at Birley Community College: -R Keith Cronin (PE), Paul Richards (IT), Mark Burdett (DT), Kim Page (DT), Luke Chapman (Science), Joshua Draycott, Pete Walton (PE), Tara Madeley (PE), Bev Chadburn (Science Technician).

Joshua Draycott and teachers at Birley Community College: -R Keith Cronin (PE), Paul Richards (IT), Mark Burdett (DT), Kim Page (DT), Luke Chapman (Science), Joshua Draycott, Pete Walton (PE), Tara Madeley (PE), Bev Chadburn (Science Technician).

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A SHEFFIELD schoolboy who has cerebral palsy has proved an inspiration to his teachers.

Joshua Draycott, aged 14, has undergone many operations and procedures at the Children’s Hospital since being diagnosed at the age of 18 months.

But there is no holding him back when it comes to running.

He took part in the Great Yorkshire Run with his twin brother Samuel when he was ten and he now runs for the Hallamshire Harriers. At Birley Community College, he has only missed two PE lessons.

Now eight of his teachers are paying tribute to his achievements by training for the Sheffield half marathon on Sunday, May 27 in aid of The Children’s Hospital Charity.

Peter Walton, Head of PE at Birley, said: “When Josh asked me if I’d run the Sheffield half marathon, I immediately said ‘yes’.

“Josh is an inspiration to both the teachers and his fellow pupils here and I’m amazed at what he’s capable of, so of course we wanted to support him and the hospital. He has only ever missed two lessons of PE despite his condition and he is always up for whatever sport we are playing.”

The teachers, whose subjects include PE, Design and Technology, IT and French, are hoping to raise at least £1,000 and will be organising a non-uniform day at the school to help achieve their target.

“We’re a mixed bunch,” said Peter. “Some of us have run marathons before but this will be PE teacher Tara Madeley’s first-ever half marathon.

“Paul Richards, who teaches IT, is the one to beat as he ran last year’s half marathon in just under one hour and 40 minutes.”

Joshua’s mum, Michaela, of Owlthorpe, said: “Joshua is an inspiration to everyone he meets, nothing defeats him.”

Joshua launched The Children’s Hospital Charity’s Run with Us campaign a few weeks ago alongside charity patron Jessica Ennis and supporters from across the region are now lining up.

The Adventure Film Festival at the Showroom Cinema this weekend is supporting the campaign. Director Matt Heason said: “The Children’s Hospital Charity is a great cause and the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival is all about inspiring people to get out there and have a go.”

The SIG Insulations Sheffield half marathon and 3k fun run is at Don Valley Stadium with a new start time of 9am. Visit www.sheffieldmarathon.com.