Academy’s charity success

Principal Carey Ayres with students
Principal Carey Ayres with students
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Students and the principal at Ripley Academy have conquered a fundraising marathon challenge.

Principal Carey Ayres ran the London Marathon and encouraged students to do the same without leaving the school grounds.

Ten weekly sessions were held during which students attempted to cover a total of 26.2 miles to raise money to equip a sensory room for autistic students at the academy.

Mrs Ayres said several hundred pounds had been raised, although the final total was still being calculated - and there would be enough money to buy the equipment required.

She completed the marathon in five hours and seven minutes and said it was an incredible experience.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I wasn’t really feeling it in my legs after about 13 miles which I thought was strange.

“It was at about 18 or 19 miles when I started to feel the pain right down the outside of my legs.

“Between 19 and 23 miles it was hard and I ran a bit and walked a bit. I got to 23 miles and the crowd really spurred me on.

“I had my name on my t-shirt and they were shouting it and I kept thinking to myself that there was only three miles left.

“When I finished it was the best feeling ever, I was absolutely ecstatic.”

Mrs Ayres said she was proud of the students who also took part in the marathon challenge at the academy.

She said: “The weekly sessions at the academy have been great for the students.

“Not only was it great from a fitness point of view but they have also helped to develop their resilience and mental strength which is what you need to run.

“They ran a total of 648 miles between them which is amazing.”

Over the 10 weekly sessions at the academy, Mrs Ayres ran a total of 33 miles but was beaten by student Sam Brown, 11, who completed 34 miles.

Sam said: “I did used to go running and was a member of a club for a while. I really wanted to beat Mrs Ayres so I was pleased that I did. It was really good fun and it made me think that one day I might enter the London Marathon.”

Mrs Ayres said she hoped that the sensory room would be ready in time for the new school year in September.