Schools Case Studies
Edgbaston High School for Girls
Date Added: Thu, 20 Jan 2011
Charity Event for The LEAP Science and Maths School, Cape Town
Edgbaston High School for Girls (EHS) is an independent day school which provides a complete education for girls aged from 2½ - 18 years. Located a few miles southwest of Birmingham City centre, pupils follow a full range of academic studies and are offered many opportunities for team and individual sports. In addition to a wide range of extra-curricular activities, each year they decide on a worthy charity to support.
EHS is committed to supporting the wider community and as their Under 18 hockey team will be touring South Africa in 2006, some form of fund raising for the LEAP charity was thought to be an appropriate and sound idea. During the tour they will visit the LEAP Science and Maths School and strengthen this partnership. There is regular contact between staff and pupils from both Schools. LEAP, founded in 2002 - is supported by just a few schools in the UK - one of which is EHS and their Headmistress, Miss Elizabeth Mullenger, backed the plan and pledged her full support. www.edgbastonhigh.bham.co.uk
Laura Bartlett is Head of EHS Lower School, a keen sportswoman and regular user of the Indoor Rower suggested to colleagues that: "...we rowed to South Africa..." using the Concept 2 Indoor Rowers. Her idea of raising £25,000 through a major sponsored event was quickly gaining momentum.
She recalls: "My original plan was for a 12-hour marathon row but given the great distance involved, common sense - provided by husband Ken - prevailed over enthusiasm and a row of 6 hours duration with teams of 6 rowing 10 minutes in every hour was eventually decided!"
Background to the LEAP Charity
The Langa Educational Assistance Programme is an educational charity that raises funds dedicated for a programme of development in one of the most deprived urban areas in South Africa. Donations are now transforming the community and lives of residents of Langa Township in Cape Town, which is a particularly disadvantaged area with poor housing and few educational opportunities.
The LEAP Science and Maths School
Against a background of poverty and a challenging environment, young people struggle to achieve their ambitions. This innovative School facilitates youngsters gaining academic qualifications and vocational skills. They now have improved access to sports and community facilities, better healthcare and lifestyle information. (Of particular urgency to make the sponsored row a success, was the news in March received by EHS staff from the School that a fire nearly destroyed very nearly all the classrooms.) This initiative is now beginning to transform their lives providing resources and hope for the future - but most of all, that change is possible. www.leapschool.org.za
Event Planning Overview
Concept 2 staff provided backup for the event from late Autumn 2004 and throughout the months in the lead up to, and including, the day of the Event.
These logistics gave Laura Bartlett the supporting framework for her to present an overview of her idea to a group of parents and friends. This nucleus, in turn would be the key players managing the event, taking responsibility for specific areas and co-ordinating the activities as the date for the event grew closer. Laura gave a broad overview together with important details of her vision and the outcomes. Volunteers could develop their own organisation of resources in the lead up to the big day on July 15th.
Under Laura's motivation and enthusiasm, all exceeded her expectations.
- Objective: Participants gather pledges on sponsor forms to complete the distance with money collected from individuals and teams towards the final total.
- Venue: The Octagon Hall is a recently built multi-use "theatre" with three separate banks of tiered seating with a total capacity of 600. It has a large central open floor - open space for the 40 Indoor Rowers - and is within the main school campus. The lighting and sound system would be ideal for the Event. Changing rooms, toilets, competitor registration, warm up area and refreshments/feeding are accommodated within this building or close by.
- The Teams: Students, staff, parents and anyone involved with the school, the local community and those who support EHS. Teams of 4 or 6, with personal schedules - so their training progress can be tracked.
- Communication: Overview/Introduction to the project in the EHS December newsletter, followed by further information in a separate email and letter in January 2005. Future contact: email, link to "Indoor Row for LEAP" page on the EHS web site and notice boards centrally located in the school.
- PR: Initial media launch followed by regular updates through to July, including the day of the row and when the final total raised is known.
Critical to the success of the project was the development of a timeline planner as a reference. Soon into 2005 the months began to pass quickly - especially after the news of the Sponsored Row went public.
- Planning meetings between staff from Concept 2 and EHS
- Reference to reports/experience of other sponsored Indoor Rowing Events
- Introduction and overview to "Sponsored Indoor Row for LEAP" in the EHS end of term newsletter
- Three Indoor Rowers on loan from C2 for training and available for all
- Recruiting volunteers from staff, parents, EHS Old Girls Association, Friends of EHS etc. to deliver and manage all aspects of the Event
- Laura Bartlett communicates the idea for the Event with volunteers
- Identification of stakeholders begins
- Formal presentation launch to interested students, parents, EHS president and council, media and sponsors
- Continue to share and grow the original vision for this Event
- Registration of Indoor Rowing teams begins - each with their own name/identity
- Sponsorship forms distributed
- Motivate participants with team incentives for: staff, parents, students, year group and rewards for individuals etc. who raise the most funds
March - July 2005
- Full PR launch
- Team training preparation progresses - fitness levels improve
- Volunteers streamline their skills and rehearse the build up to July 15th. providing regular feedback to EHS senior management
- The running total pledges rise to meet the target of £25,000
- Participants become fitter and some people decide to buy their own Indoor Rowers
- Media presence continues as their interest in the Event grows
Laura Bartlett writes about the preparations: "Early in the New Year I invited a selected group of parents to attend a meeting, the incentive, wine and nibbles, but with no prior agenda given! There was 100% turnout mainly out of curiosity I think! I prepared a PowerPoint presentation to outline my ideas. There was unabated enthusiasm for the project - everyone thought £25,000 was a realistic target. The group of parents I had invited had a variety of different skills and so sub-committees were formed to oversee the various aspects. I would act as the link to all groups and parents."
"Letters were sent out to parents and the responses were very good. The idea was becoming a reality! Staff teams entered from all areas of the school and a team from our Governing Body also entered."
Laura's 'To Do' List grows
- Confirm and finalise arrangements with Concept 2 for the loan and set up of 40 Indoor Rowers for the Event
- Parents to enter teams of 6, to see how far we could collectively row on the day of the Event and which team could row the greatest distance
- Publicity for the Event in a Midlands, business networking magazine
- Birmingham businesses to be invited to sponsor a machine at £250
- Each individual participant to obtain sponsorship of at least £100 = 40 machines x 6 rowers = 240 x £100 = £24,000 +
"We became aware of the Sir Steve Redgrave Trust initiative, which had placed Concept 2 Model "D" Indoor Rowers in 20 Birmingham City Schools and so to make best use of the borrowed machines we decided to host a schools regatta and invite teams from these schools in the morning of the Sponsored Indoor Rowing Event." (The results are at the end of this Report.)
"One of my committee pointed out that if two hundred and forty parents were rowing what would the children be doing and who would look after them? So we expanded the idea to include a Family Fun Day to be held outside the main Hall where the rowing was taking place. An event brochure would be produced where advertisements could be placed, for a charge! Teams and sponsors would be listed and details of the day and timings would be given."
Family Fun Day
"The Fun Day provided several exciting popular activities: bouncy castle, creative art areas, netball/football competitions, sponge throwing at staff volunteers, face painting, hair braiding, magic show and tombola. The ideas just kept coming, all of which would provide an additional income stream as well as enjoyment for the children - so another sub-committee was formed!"
"It was suggested we might be hungry after six hours rowing so what about a BBQ in the evening? Another good idea and another committee formed!! The word was spreading around Birmingham of our project and THE OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE said they were prepared to sponsor all the BBQ food we would need. What an offer and one we did not refuse!"
"The children and rowers would need feeding throughout the day so it was decided to offer tea, sandwiches and cakes. Pupils were excused homework on the final night of term provided they made a cake and sure enough two hundred and fifty cakes arrived the next morning!"
"We could not have a BBQ without music so one of the parents volunteered his 6-piece band to play in the evening free of charge again."
"So many parents and businesses, particularly those associated with the school, had given some quite expensive gifts which we decided to auction off to the highest bidder - another very good money raiser!"
On the Day
"The day finally dawned! Concept 2 had set up the machines the previous day- all was ready for the Steve Redgrave Trust Birmingham Schools Regatta which went very smoothly. EHS teams competed valiantly but could not compare with those schools that had had regular access to Indoor Rowers. EHS had had three practice machines in school for the previous few months and this has convinced the Governors how beneficial it would be for staff and pupils to have our own machines in school permanently!"
7.00am to midday
"Fun Factory ready and the ladies start sandwich making through until 5pm!"
12.45pm for the 1pm start
"Teams assembled ready for the off! Loudspeaker system: READY, STEADY ROW! And row everybody did - for the next 6 hours without a pause. The atmosphere was fantastic with parents, staff, children all cheering each other on and a certain amount of competition creeping into the day."
"Who would beat the Bartlett family team, who would row the furthest? There were several celebrities who came and gave their support including BBC TV's news presenter Nick Owen and Tim Munton, Warwickshire and England cricketer."
"Covert monitoring of the leading machines was certainly going on and there were some attempts to distract the leaders, to no avail! Outside the sun shone and visitors poured into the Fun Factory all afternoon. The BBQ started at 5pm - the smells taunting the rowers but not one team paused until the song 'The Final Countdown' played. Corny, but there was such a sense of elation within the room that it was quite appropriate!"
"A quick shower and change and everyone was soon outside for the Auction and to dance the night away to the live music and enjoy what was left of the BBQ. Committee members had been collecting sponsor money, fun factory money, and sandwich money, seven thousand sandwiches made in total and by the time 10pm came, there was £30,000 in the bag!"
"Having been in teaching for 35 years I can honestly say I have never experienced a day like it! The sense of purpose and community the project engendered was incredible."
"Everyone from all areas of the school was involved in some way. There were no expenses at all, everything, was given free and every penny raised will go directly to the LEAP school. None of it could have happened without the support of Concept 2. Not only did it raise a tremendous amount of money for a very good cause but also it acted as a stimulus for children and adults of all ages to see and feel the benefit of exercise, a healthy lifestyle and Indoor Rowing."
Well done to Laura Bartlett, Head of Lower School and all her supporting staff, pupils, parents and friends. As a result of the Indoor Rowing training, several parents have now bought their own machines. However, the sponsored row will be an opportunity to signal the commitment by EHS to begin the process of introducing and integrating Indoor Rowing to their curriculum.
This was an incredible day that raised a huge sum of money to donate to the LEAP Science and Maths School. As Laura says, she has never experienced anything like it. Everyone had an amazing day of hard rowing, fun and an excellent way to celebrate a common purpose and commitment to the task. All this can be attributed to careful planning, first class management and leadership.
Results of the Steve Redgrave Trust Birmingham School Event
Colmers School, Lindsworth Special School, Kings Norton Girls' School and King Edwards Sixth School, Aston - all brought teams to the morning races.
The overall winner was Colmers School taking a clean sweep with the first four places: 1st Year 9 Boys, 2nd Year 8 Boys, 3rd Year 9 Girls and 4th Year 8 Girls. In the Year 10 - 13 race, Colmers, Year 10 Boys beat a team of Year 12 Boys from KES Aston.
Results of the Sponsored Indoor Row for LEAP