Determined Heanor pupils faced the ultimate test of resilience and endurance fit for the Commandos – a charity van pull.
Using just a rope and sheer willpower, 15 students from Heanor Gate Science College pulled a Commando Joe’s kit van weighing more than 300-stone across the school field.
Proceeds from the charity pull will be donated in memory of Belper teenager Edward Green, who died in a house fire last year, and also to Macmillan Cancer Research.
The daring challenge was the culmination of six months of team-building lessons with Commando Joe’s – a company which sends ex-military veterans and fitness experts in to schools to teach character and confidence skills.
Although the company works in over 300 schools across the country, this is the first time a group of students have tried such a demanding challenge. Instructor Louise Simpson, known as ‘Commando Jane’, says the idea came from the year ten students themselves – and she had no doubt they would pull it off.
She said: “The challenge was a great success – the students even managed to pull the van further than their original target and get it across the whole field, 160 metres. I’m really proud of them all. If they can pull a 300 stone van they can certainly tackle their GCSE exams!”
Heanor Gate enlisted the help of Commando Joe’s last year, with Louise drafted in one day a week to work with pupils in and out of the classroom on a range of character building skills.
Deputy headteacher Steve Huntington says the results have been remarkable.
He said: “The work that Louise has done with our pupils has been excellent. They have really worked on team-building and reacting well under difficult circumstances. This van pull challenge proves to the children they can do whatever it takes to succeed.”