Running in memory of Harrogate Grammar teacher

Harrogate Grammar teachers and students to run Race for Life in memory of departed colleague. (S)
Harrogate Grammar teachers and students to run Race for Life in memory of departed colleague. (S)

Students, staff, and mums at Harrogate Grammar School are gearing up for the 2015 Race for Life in memory of a teacher who died this year.

Frances Williams was head of the school’s charity committee and raised tens of thousands of pounds for international and local charities.

As a tribute to her, Year 10 and 11 students are trying to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK and, to raise awareness, as each one signs up they choose a pink shape and hang it from a pink ribbon in the sports hall in maths teacher Miss Williams’ memory.

PE teacher Sarah Haslop said: “When we found out about the circumstances of Miss Williams we thought it would be a really great thing to do to support a really worthwhile charity, but also in memory of our colleague who spent a lot of time raising money for our school charities.

“It has really engaged a lot of students and staff have gone into assemblies and sent emails and we have had a really good response from girls who can also run for any member of their family who has been affected by cancer.”

As part of their weekly PE programme, female students run a 2.5km challenge and the Race for Life will also encourage them to take up running outside school.

At Harrogate Grammar, running is promoted as an activity which can improve a person’s physical, mental and social well-being and Harrogate Grammar School are now seeing many more young people run, walk or jog as a result, the girls are also encouraged to get involved with the Park Run or sponsored events.

Mrs Haslop said: “In Years 10 and 11 we have had a real focus on fitness and running for your own personal gain, so it has a link with what we are trying to do in PE.

“The weekly runs allow students to track their progress, and we have students who do park runs and races, so this will hopefully raise the profile of running in school.”

The 2015 Race for Life is being held on June 14 on the Stray. Mrs Haslop said it would be great if people turned out to encourage the girls.