They have so little, yet they achieve so much

Published on: 04 Aug 2014

Head teacher is ‘humbled’ by Ugandan school 


WHILE many teachers are taking a well-earned rest this month, Blackhorse Primary's head teacher Simon Botten is tackling an extreme runnning event.

He will mark the last day of his thirties by taking part in the Isle of Wight Challenge – 36 miles around the coast of the island.

The run is on coastal paths between Cowes and Ventnor and has a combined incline of 3,000 feet.

It follows the 31-mile ultra marathon he completed last summer.

Mr Botten said: “As I turn 40 on August 24, it seemed like a good idea to sign up for the race on the 23rd. It is only slightly longer than last year's – 56k compared with 50k – but it looks to be considerably more challenging.”

He is stopping short of the full race, which is a 106k non-stop full loop of the island.

Mr Botten has been inspired to run in aid of the Hosanna Primary School in Uganda, which has few resources and 70 children in a class.

Teachers from the school in Kisenyi, a deprived part of Kampala, have been to Blackhorse on a visit funded by the British Council.

“They provide free education to some of the poorest children in the world,” said Mr Botten. “They are clever, talented teachers who teach children to a high standard with absolutely nothing but a blackboard. What they achieve is humbling. They were over the moon when we gave them a box of pencils.”

Hosanna Primary School support group is a small, Bristol-based charity and every penny it raises goes to the school.

Staff, parents and pupils at Blackhorse raised money for the charity – and for Children's Hospice South West – by taking part in a fun run. They completed a combined 3,500 laps of the school field – more than 538 miles.

Mr Botten played his part by fulfilliong a pledge to run for the whole school day. He completed 215 laps – 30 miles.

To sponsor Mr Botten for the Isle of Wight run, text HPSG035 to give £5, or HPSG0310 to give £10, or HPSG0320 to give £20 to 70070. Each £40 raised will pay for a child to attend the school for a year (not to mention being fed twice a day), so every penny counts.


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