MELKSHAM residents, schools and businesses have all stepped up to raise funds for Sport Relief last weekend. Melksham’s efforts contributed to the national charity raising a record £51million to help change lives across the UK and in the world’s poorest countries.
Every two years Sport Relief, which grew from the success of Comic Relief, inspires people to perform a range of sporting events to raise money.
Many Melksham school-children ran the Sport Relief Mile – or further, Canberra Youth Centre had a marathon eight hour pool challenge with the Melksham Neighbourhood Policing Team, a swimathon took place at Melksham Blue Pool, Sainsbury’s held a charity cycle as well as many more events across the town.
Melksham Oak assistant headteacher Aidan Blowers hailed the school’s Sport Relief efforts a success with over £1100 being raised. He said, “We have a really simple target at Melksham which is that we want to be a ‘Great School’. This was certainly the case on Friday 21st March when the whole school got involved in a range of activities for Sport Relief.
“At lunch we had a ‘four legged race’ organised by our fantastic Cover Supervisor Team. This saw a range of staff teams competing for the coveted ‘four legged’ title in teams of three. The whole school turned out to watch the race and, cheered on by the crowd, the Site team sprinted/stumbled home to victory.
“POW Panda (our literacy champion) staff and 6th form students took it in turns on the ‘watt bike’ as they successfully cycled well over 100 miles during the course of the school day.
“Each of our four Houses: Castor, Omega, Polaris and Sirius took it in turns, and Polaris emerged as the winners with lots of sponsorship going into House buckets over the course of the day.
“All of this hard work, along with our non-uniform day, contributed to £1133.95 being raised for Sport Relief. Very well done to the ‘great’ students and staff of Melksham Oak who did the whole school proud.”
Many people made a splash at Melksham Blue Pool for the swimathon where participants swam 1.5km, 2.5km or 5km individual distances.
Pupils at Aloeric Primary School took part in a variety of events including Run a Mile, a parents, staff and pupil netball match and a scoot and bike obstacle course while pupils at Forest & Sandridge School took part in the Sport Relief mile.
The staff of the little Co-op on Pembroke Road raised £333.29 for Sport Relief with a sponsored static bike ride. One of the organisers Donna Bainton said, “We did this by riding an exercise bike from 8.00am until 5.00pm outside the front of the shop. The store manager Tracey Griffin also did a sponsored silence that started at 8.30am and also finished at 5.00pm! We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated – thank you very much.”
Staff at Sainsbury’s Melksham had a very busy weekend supporting Sports Relief. Diana Malling, on behalf of Sainsbury’s said, “We had activities going on most of the weekend with cycling, rowing and walking machines.
“The staff performed the ‘company dance’ every hour for a few hours.
There was also a Sport Relief knitted bunny in full Sport Relief kit for ‘guess the name of the bunny’ and then four of us went on a bike ride through the wind and rain to the Chippenham store and back -via the long route.”
Children at Shaw & Whitley pre-school had lots of fun and at the same time raised money for Sports Relief on Friday 21st March.
By dressing in red, taking part in an obstacle course and decorating cakes, the children were told how the money they had raised would help other children less fortunate than themselves.
Local children Sam (9) and William (7) Richards, ran from their home in Bowerhill to Shaw Primary School, a total of 3.3 miles, to raise money for Sports Relief.
The boys came up with the idea, they wanted to push themselves, while raising money. They were encouraged along the way by the Melksham public.
Children and staff at Snapdragons Nursery in Melksham were sponsored to run a circuit of King’s Park wearing their sportiest clothes, before rounding off with a play in the playground.
Each of the children brought in a pound and nursery manager, Nicola Brailey, says they’ve raised around £40.
She said, “The children did really well, because it’s quite a long way for little legs! I’m very proud of them all.”
Canberra Youth Centre came out on top after an 8-hour pool challenge against Melksham Neighbourhood Policing team (NPT). During the course of the day members of Melksham and Devizes NPT and members of Wiltshire Special constabulary played over 68 games of pool against 20 young people.
At one stage the match was tied at 30 games each, but a final push by team Canberra was too much for the Police team. The final game was a closely-played game, but in the end it was won by Canberra and that meant that there was no coming back for the Police.
All that was left was for Angus Macpherson Wiltshire and Swindon’s Police and Crime Commissioner to present Team Canberra with the winning trophy and medals.
The organisers said, “We would like to say a few thank yous to Cobbler’s Bench in Melksham for donating the trophy, Dominoes pizza, Co-op Pembrook Road and Spar Convenience store on Spa Road Melksham for donating snacks and drinks, the PCC for donating money for the medals, DC Leisure for lending us an extra pool table, PC Kane Fulbrook-Smith and Mark Holden for organising the day and finally everyone that came along and played.
“This was a prime example of the local police engaging with young people building relations, working together to reduce ASB and put something back into our community.
“It was a great day although competitive it was meant in the spirit of what it was intended.”