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Pupils speed ahead with world record bid
HUNDREDS of speedy children stormed through Buckhurst Park yesterday in a bid to set a new world record.
A total of 450 youngsters from Goddard Park Primary School took part in a mass 100m sprint across the park to help raise awareness of the importance of being fit and healthy and to help raise money for their sister school in Nairobi, Kenya.
They also wanted to set the world record for the greatest number of children taking part in a mass sprint. Although nobody was present from Guinness World Records, they think they achieved their goal.
Sophia Merlo, a year 2 teacher, came up with the idea and led the Eco Council which organised the event.
Miss Merlo said: “It’s International Week and because we have our sister school in Nairobi we wanted to do something to raise money for them so all the children have brought a pound in to donate.
“It’s something that they will remember and it’s a really nice thing to do.”
Grace Duncan-Andrews and Della Jaycarr, both 10, were among students to take part in the event.
Della said: “I do a lot of running because I play football but I thought it was going to be scary because there were quite a lot of boys and they run fast.”
Grace said: “I didn’t want to do it at first but when I got there I thought ‘why not?’ I do run quite a lot. It was fun.”
The fastest pupils took 16.4 seconds to cross the finish line, and the very last little legs crossed the line within one minute and 16 seconds.
Gerry Hannon, of Old Town, who works for Sustrans and has experience running fun runs around the town, helped arrange the event.
He said: “It was good. It was a lot of fun as well for the children.”
Mike Welsh, headteacher at Goddard Park, said: “It’s very important to us to teach the children about the importance of healthy eating and keeping active, and this was part of that.
“We also wanted to do something to get the children involved in the community.
“We are raising money for the library and also for our sister school in Nairobi.
“Next year we will do it again and hope to beat it, and then it will go into the Guinness Book of Records.”