School children clock up tens of thousands of miles in memory of much-loved Richmond teacher and sportsman

Pupils and staff from Richmond School have completed more than 45,000 miles in an ambitious sporting challenge in memory of deputy headteacher Dave Clark.

In memory of Mr Clark, who was also a lover of the great outdoors, the community comprehensive on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales has clocked up 46,697 miles as part of an epic fitness challenge.

Mr Clark, who was in his 50s, died suddenly in September last year when he was trampled by cows while walking his dogs in a field near the town.

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The married father was a keen cyclist and rugby coach and originally taught PE at the school when he joined in 1997.

The school has raised more than £6,000 - with 50 per cent going towards the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Photo credit: Submitted picture

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The heart-felt tribute, set-up by Jack Moore and Helen Southgate, current PE teachers at the school, originally aimed to motivate students and staff to collectively complete 8,000 miles by walking, running and cycling last month.

However the PE teachers were delighted to exceed expectations thanks to the help of 900 students and 71 staff who took part.

Ms Southgate said: "We have been completely overwhelmed by just how many people have embraced this initiative for all the reasons we hoped they might; to get active, to take on a personal challenge, to be a part of team Richmond School and to raise money in memory of Dave Clark, a much loved and greatly missed member of staff.”

Pictured, Dave Clark, who sadly passed away last year. In the sportsman's memory students and staff from Richmond school have clocked up more than 45,000 miles, by walking, running and cycling, last month. Photo credit: Submitted picture

Mr Moore added: “Seeing students and staff out and about getting their miles in has been really heart warming and the efforts of everyone throughout March have reflected the amazing team spirit which exists here at Richmond School and Sixth Form College.

“When we started this challenge we were still in a period of school closure and it was really lovely to have a sense of working together on something at a time when we were having to remain relatively separate from each other.”

The challenge has raised more than £6,000 - with 50 per cent going towards the Great North Air Ambulance Service and the other 50 per cent to refurbish the school’s fitness room with inclusive equipment.

Sophie Bendelow, a community fundraising officer at the Great North Air Ambulance Service, said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed by the support we have received from Richmond School and Sixth Form College since the passing of their Deputy Headteacher, Dave Clark.

Pictured, headteacher Jenna Potter, said: "This is something that Dave would have been incredibly proud of, uniting his desire to encourage young people to get outdoors, stay fit and be part of a team whilst doing something for the benefit of others." Photo credit: JPIMedia

“We are sure he would be so proud of the staff and pupils who have joined together as a team to raise vital funds for our charity and get some new equipment for their fitness suite.”

The refurbishment of the school’s fitness room will see it made accessible. This includes equipment suitable for wheelchair users or students and staff who may have health complications that mean they are not able to use some of the traditional fitness kit.

Headteacher Jenna Potter, said: "To say we are delighted with what our staff and students have achieved is an understatement.

"The generosity of time, effort and donations means so much to us and the Great North Air Ambulance Service. This is something that Dave would have been incredibly proud of, uniting his desire to encourage young people to get outdoors, stay fit and be part of a team whilst doing something for the benefit of others."

You can still donate to the March Mile challenge here.

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