Pupils enjoy spirit of Rio during summer term of fundraising

North Oxfordshire Academy Race For Life
North Oxfordshire Academy Race For Life

A Banbury school has added Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life to the timetable for the summer term.

North Oxfordshire Academy hosted a special event on the school’s playing fields on Thursday, June 30, as part of Race for Life’s schools programme.

Around 250 pupils, aged from 11 to 15 years old, joined forces with their teachers to take on cancer and walk, jog or run 3k in aid of Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work.

The race was just one of a series of events at the academy to celebrate the Spirit of Rio – a cultural and sporting festival tied in with this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Schools across the country taking part in United Learning, including North Oxfordshire Academy and Hanwell Fields Community School in Banbury, are celebrating with a range of exciting activities.

At North Oxfordshire Academy, in addition to the Race for Life, students have been taking part in a wide range of creative and sporting activities testing them on the three main values of the Olympic Games - excellence, friendship and respect.

Popular activities included creating murals inspired by Beatriz Milhazes, a Brazilian artist, playing in a 30-piece samba orchestra, racing to Rio – where colleges competed against each other to run the 1,858-mile distance to Rio de Janeiro, powering an Olympic Games event with support of the National Grid and identifying genetic advantage in sport.

Sara Billins, head teacher at North Oxfordshire Academy, said: “Race for Life is a great addition to the school timetable. The whole school has been supporting the event so it was a real team effort to raise money for a seriously good cause.

“Most of us know someone who has been touched by cancer and we all had our special reasons for taking part and wanting to help more people survive.”

Keisha, in year 9, said: “I was really proud of myself and the others who ran the Race for Life to support those who are fighting against cancer. I hope that this money can help find a cure so that no more people die from cancer.”

Ethan, a year 7 student, said: “I really enjoyed the challenge but most of all I enjoyed being able to raise money for this great charity.”

Rachel Carr, head of Race for Life, said: “Race for Life Schools is a fantastic way to have fun, get fit and save lives. Young people today are the generation who could see ground-breaking treatments and cures for cancer in their lifetime. They will be the researchers and lifesavers of tomorrow. But first, we need them to be the fundraisers of today – and walk, jog and run to help beat cancer sooner.”