Sport Relief: South Yorks kids help run up record £50m

Sport Relief: Dobcroft School kids running mile marathon.
Sport Relief: Dobcroft School kids running mile marathon.

SPORTY South Yorkshire youngsters gave elite athletes and celebrities a run for their money when they did their bit for Sport Relief - which has raised a record total of £50 million.

The total sum was confirmed as £50,447,197 which was £21 million more than the amount raised last year.

Pupils at Dobcroft Junior School, Millhouses, Sheffield, completed a marathon task together in under three hours by running 200m relay laps.

But the cross-country team really pushed the limits by completing the equivalent of 26.2 miles in two hours and 41 minutes.

Teacher Julia Hopegill said: “They were going for a really fast time. Their achievement is really impressive.

“We love Sport Relief. Last year, we raised £1,200, but this time we hope to be up on that. Children have been saying ‘I’ve got £30 in sponsorship,’ so hopefully we will smash it.”

The school held a Just Dance Nintendo Wii class in the hall, hula hooping and a bun sale.

Teachers Tom Milner, John Waller and Matt White dressed up as the 118 advertising characters to raise smiles and cash for the cause. The cash is spent by Comic Relief to help people living tough lives in the UK and abroad.

Runners in Years Three and Five completed their relay marathon in three hours seven minutes, while those in Years Four and Six did it in three hours two minutes.

An Olympic effort was also made at Hillsborough-based gym the Burton Street Foundation.

Staff and customers travelled the distance from Sheffield to London’s Olympic Stadium - 267km – by using various machines.

A major part of the gym’s work is with adults or older children with learning and physical disabilities and some of them took part.

Scott Allbright, gym manager, said: “We did it by running, rowing, cycling, walking or using an ergometer for your arms.

“We completed the distance from Sheffield to the London Olympic Stadium because it is the Olympic year and we will be doing a big event for that.”

Zumba fun was on the timetable at Ecclesall Infants School, which joined the Sport Relief effort.

Sheffield High School workers and one former pupil dug deep into their recipe books to come up with tempting treats for the pupils to buy in aid of Sport Relief.

Long queues of children picked up beetroot cake, popcorn, focaccia, blondies, millionaire’s and billionaire’s shortbread and lots of goodies with chocolate as the essential ingredient. After staff had the chance to buy, more than £450 was raised for Sport Relief.

Comic sketches with athletes and feats of endurance from celebrities during a night of television dedicated to Sport Relief on the BBC helped to raise the record £50m.

The figure was announced at the end of the charity marathon at 1.30am.

Comic Miranda Hart battled Tim Henman in a tennis game that ended when she was ‘knocked out’ by her on-screen mother Patricia Hodge, while a one-off special of sitcom Outnumbered featured Frank Lampard and Christine Bleakley in an encounter with the Brockman family.

England footballers Rob Green, Glen Johnson, Theo Walcott and current captain Scott Parker took on Saturday Kitchen presenter and celebrity chef James Martin in a special edition of the BBC1 show’s Omelette Challenge, with defender Johnson emerging as the winner - despite a few broken shells.

And fashion-mad duo Edina and Patsy also made a return to the small screen with a one-off special of Absolutely Fabulous, with Kate Moss, Stella McCartney, Linford Christie and Colin Jackson all putting in cameos in the sitcom.

Comedian Frank Skinner overcame a lifelong phobia of water by swimming 25 metres to raise money for Sport Relief. Skinner underwent eight weeks of physical and psychological training in order to finish the swim, which he completed despite what he described as “one of my little panics”.

Other appearances included the stars of ITV comedy Benidorm on a special edition of Britain’s Got Talent and performances from boyband JLS, Snow Patrol and LMFAO.

Host Fearne Cotton said: “What an amazing, stunning total. We always hope to beat the previous amount, but to do it so spectacularly is just incredible. Huge thanks to the British public who, once again, have shown enormous generosity to help those in need.”

* See Monday’s Star for more pictures of Sport Relief events.