Mr Wheeler’s 5K Every Day for a Year!

By now, you may have heard stories from the students at Helsby about a strange man running around the school field at lunch! I can happily confirm that that individual is myself, Mr Wheeler. What follows is an explanation as to what I’m doing, other than trying to lower my cholesterol.

Firstly, I like teaching (I often give the impression I do not)! I’ve been at Helsby for 12 years and taught thousands of students, many of whom I could never tell you their name, but I’d like to think I could tell you something about the vast majority. I’ve always liked talking about what sports they do outside of school or the hobbies that they have.

One student I remember from my early days was Luke. Normal lad; loved football; not keen to write too many extended answers in RE; always up for having a laugh. So imagine the shock to read online that, at the age of 26, he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). However, it was uplifting to read his Go Fund Me page and to see so many people, many who were his old school friends, helping to raise funds for him.

This probably struck a chord with me more because I followed Kevin Sinfield running marathons to raise money for his Rugby League team mate, Rob Burrows, who also has MND. To watch the same man then run 101 miles in 24 hours for his mate honestly brought a tear to my eye a number of times.

Unfortunately, one of the realities of teaching is that you will see tragedy and suffering in those we are lucky enough to work with. Luke is not the first member of the Helsby High community to experience illness and he will not be the last. As such, school has agreed to establish a community fund for our Helsby School community to help where we can. The fund will help all sorts of good causes for our community including the MND Association Charity. We hope that this will help our students understand that at Helsby they are part of a collective community. As a football fan the chant, ‘one of our own,’ is particularly relevant.

The challenge – I set out to run a 5k, every lunch time, for a whole school year and I’ve nearly done it! That is 190 runs, whatever the weather! Over the year there have been events where I have pretty much made a fool of myself in order to try and get as much into this fund as possible and students and families have already donated!

More details of how everyone can get involved have been emailed home in a letter from Mrs Cross our Assistant Head with responsibility for Community links. This explains how the fund will work and how we will donate to the charities in our community.

Thank you in advance for your support

Mr C Wheeler
Running Fool!