Advertisement

Proud day as Sir Brendan Foster presents school cross country medals

Sir Brendan Foster starts the Barnard Run for Preparatory School competitors <i>(Image: Barnard Castle School)</i>
Sir Brendan Foster starts the Barnard Run for Preparatory School competitors (Image: Barnard Castle School)

Cross country runners found themselves in esteemed company as a legend of sport descended on their school to present the medals.

Olympian, European gold medal winner and founder of the Great North Run Sir Brendan Foster performed the honours at the 132nd Barnard Run, which is staged every year at Barnard Castle School.

The historic event, and the ‘Barney Bash’ qualifiers, involves every pupil of the school from age four to 18 and raises thousands of pounds for charity.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Sir Brendan Foster starts the Barnard Run for Preparatory School competitors
Darlington and Stockton Times: Sir Brendan Foster starts the Barnard Run for Preparatory School competitors

This year, to mark headmaster Tony Jackson leaving the school next July, he was persuaded to compete in the Barney Bash in fancy dress raising even more money for a good cause.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Barnard Castle School senior boys get under way
Darlington and Stockton Times: Barnard Castle School senior boys get under way

The total raised so far is £4,000 which will be donated to the charity CRY – Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die as a result of undiagnosed heart conditions. Since 1995 CRY has been working to reduce the number of cases of young sudden cardiac death by promoting heart screening programmes and funding medical research. It also supports young people who are diagnosed with heart conditions and offers bereavement support to families affected by the sudden deaths.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Three runners support each other over the line
Darlington and Stockton Times: Three runners support each other over the line

Sir Brendan said: “It is 41 years since I have been to the school and that was the week before the very first Great North Run.

“The best thing about the Barney Run and the Bash is the fact that the whole school takes part with such enthusiasm even though they may not all be natural runners. The support they receive from their teachers and their peers is absolutely brilliant.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: Sir Brendan Foster starts the Barnard Run for Preparatory School competitors
Darlington and Stockton Times: Sir Brendan Foster starts the Barnard Run for Preparatory School competitors

Mr Jackson added: “The Barney Run is widely accepted and embraced as part of our school and its traditions. In an ever-changing world it is nice to have anchors and this is something that engages the whole school community and raises thousands of pounds for charity.”

Headmistress of Barnard Castle Preparatory School Laura Turner added: “Even our youngest children enjoy being part of such an historic event and love mixing with the older pupils. They all did a fabulous job in very cold and slippery conditions and thoroughly enjoyed the day.”