Valley gets kitted out for charity

Sports Relief. Stubbings Infant School, School Street, Hebden Bridge.
Sports Relief. Stubbings Infant School, School Street, Hebden Bridge.

The upper Calder Valley got kitted out to run, walk and cycle in aid of Sport Relief.

Youngsters at many of the area’s schools took part in sponsored sporting activities to raise funds for the charity appeal.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the route as TV presenters Harry Gration and Amy Garcia tackled the Calderdale route of this summer’s Tour de France leg on their tandem bike.

And a fell runner’s challenge saw her head to Downing Street where she met Prime Minister David Cameron and Sport Relief’s Davina McCall.

Like Davina, Jilly Davidson, of Mytholmroyd, donned her running shoes for a marathon three-day challenge which saw her run along the Leeds to Liverpool Canal towpath from the Yorkshire city to Liverpool docks.

Taking a short break at the end of each six-mile stretch, with overnight stops at Colne and Wigan, and accompanied by a support van manned by Rhys Watkins and Nick Ward, she made her target. “I only decided to do it at Christmas and have managed to run about 50 miles a week in training, with some long back-to-back weekends,” said Jilly, of Todmorden Harriers.

“A couple of years ago, when I started running, I seem to remember some celebs doing the canal in a pedalo and decided to follow the route on foot.

“It was brilliant, though I’ll have to get my thinking cap on to do something next time.”

So far, through sponsor sheets and a Just Giving page, Jilly has raised £850. Donations can still be made online at www.justgiving/jillydavidson. At Wood Bank Special School, children dressed in sporty clothes for the day and completed a mile walk around the nearby Kershaw estate, Luddenden.

Senior administrator Janet Wilby said: “We also had a bouncy castle in the hall which was for the children, but adults could join in too.

“It was fun for everyone.”

Sporting kits were the uniform for the day at Heptonstall Junior and Infant School.

All the children at Scout Road Academy, Mytholmroyd, ran or walked a mile to raise funds for Sport Relief.

Pupils and staff at Cragg Vale Junior and Infant School dressed as their sporting heroes and took part in various challenges including a sprintathon and a rollathon. Reception class children at Luddendenfoot Academy completed a sponsored bike-athon around the playground.

Children from The Ark Day Nursery, near Hebden Bridge, were delighted to meet BBC Look North presenters Harry Gration and Amy Garcia as they cycled past the nursery on their Tandem Tour de Yorkshire challenge.

The youngsters gave Harry and Amy some bicycle-shaped biscuits to keep them going as they cycled along the route. Harry said: “Such a wonderful reception like this keeps us going.

“We came over moorland in high winds but seeing so many people turn out gives us the drive we need. People have really embraced Sport Relief.”

The duo cycled from Oxenhope through Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Ripponden and Elland on their sponsored ride, raising tens of thousands of pounds for Sport Relief.