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Sorry, I’ve got to run

Last week’s fun run was a wonderful event, brilliantly organised by parent David Musgrove. The fact that it brought our community together, raised so much money for the Family Centre and increased awareness of this fantastic community resource, was nothing short of astonishing. However the thing that was even more impressive was the quality of the running.

In the process of organising the race marshals, David must have covered the 10k course several times before the race even started. Our teachers, David, Peter and Becca completed the course without so much as breaking a sweat and three of our Year 6 boys, Ripley, Tobin and Victor, sprinted their way round (in Spiderman outfits), as if it was a stroll in the park. All the 120 or so other children who took part, completed the shorter distances without any bother at all. What this shows is that, quite simply, our children are extremely fit!

The idea of a fun run is a bit confusing for me because sadly running is not my idea of fun. That’s not to say I haven’t done my fair share of running, but running has always been more a means to an end. The enjoyment of being fit came from getting past a slow full back, or taking a quick single, or chasing down a drop shot to win a point. Sadly, unless there is a ball or bus to chase, running is something I have tried to avoid in recent years. But Sunday’s event has shown me that I’m probably the one who is missing out.

This year, one of the priority areas within our school development plan has to be to support all of our children in developing their aerobic fitness. The benefits of this are very obvious – fit children become fit adults, and fit adults lead healthier more fulfilled lives. A good level of fitness supports concentration, motivation and stamina in everything to which we turn our hand. And with childhood obesity at record levels, we owe it to our children to support and encourage them to be as active as possible. After all, what is the point of getting top grades if you’re not healthy enough to use them?

This year our PE coach John (one of my more famous ex pupils) has worked wonders supporting and encouraging children to get involved in sport. He’s been there at the crack of dawn with our ‘Get Up and Go’ Sessions, and at the end of the day with the Cross-country Club. In between, he has taken PE lessons with all year groups and, this year alone, has taken teams to over 40 sports tournaments. Coming first, second and third at a recent race meet at a well-known Public School just up the road was the icing on the cake!

Sport at Highgate Primary is very healthy and so are our children. It’s now time for the Headteacher to join in the fun – race marshalling is so last week.

William