Schools Case Studies
Date Added: Thu, 20 Jan 2011
Gill Murray, friend of Farnborough School and wife of teacher Paul Murray, lost her fight with cancer early in 2004. When Gill was diagnosed with cancer, she discovered that the Nottingham City Hospital that treated her could not supply the form of radiotherapy that she needed, IMRT (intensive modulated radiotherapy). The advantages of this form of radiotherapy are reduced negative side effects during treatment. One of Gill's last wishes was that she could raise the £100,000 needed to buy an IMRT machine for the Nottingham City Hospital, even though she knew that she would not benefit from it herself.
As friends of Gill, the Farnborough PE Department set about thinking of ways to raise money for the Gill Murray IMRT 2004 Appeal. Many ideas were considered before they arrived at the plan of ten teams of ten indoor rowers competing in relay over 35,000m, the distance from Dover to Calais.
Two pupils, one male and one female, were selected by each tutor group to participate in the channel row, and combined with the other pupils from tutor sets in the other years. This created six teams of ten pupils. The staff then entered into a draw to make up the remaining four teams.
Each pupil and member of staff was then given a sponsorship form, with the added incentive that the tutor group that raised the most money would win themselves a day off school visiting Alton Towers. The pupil who raised the most money individually also won two tickets for Alton Towers. Each pupil tried to get as many friends and family to pay £1 to guess the time of the winning team. In return, the winners received a bottle of Champagne and a £20 gift voucher from Sainsbury's. To raise further funds, the school staff entered into a staff-only prize draw to guess how much money would be raised by the day of the row, the prize for which was a week's holiday in the Lake District staying at the cottage of one of the members of staff.
The school publicised the event through the local TV news, BBC Radio Nottingham and the local papers.
After two weeks of preparation and training with one of the school's resident Concept 2 Instructors the pupils and staff were ready to take on the Channel.
On the day of the event, Concept 2's Ben Addison arrived early and set up the ten Indoor Rowers and a big screen where past world championship videos were shown. At the end of the school day all of the pupils arrived ready for their race. Each team had a slightly different strategy, each taking into account that there were two pupils from each year group from year 7 (age 11) to year 11 (age 16). The staff teams took the event no less seriously with teams catering the length of time for their rows according to their fitness. The school hall was packed with 100 competitors and at least 150 spectators to watch the start of the event. The racing was tight for the first 20km before one of the teachers' teams began to edge into a lead and ended up winning in a time of 2:15.05.
Once the winning team finished, all the teams stopped but recorded their average split so that their predicted finishing time could be calculated.
Once all the money was collected, the PE department announced that they had greatly exceeded their target of £5,000, raising a total of £8,086.
How they did it
Six Weeks Before the Event
- The PE staff came up with the idea of rowing the equivalent distance to crossing the English Channel on Indoor Rowers, raising money for the Gill Murray IMRT 2004 appeal by having each pupil in the school raise money. Each pupil in the school would be given a sponsorship form, it would cost £1 to predict what time it would take the winning team to row the 35,000m.
- To provide an incentive for the pupils the form raising the most money would win a day trip to Alton Towers.
- The individual raising the most money would also win tickets for themselves and a friend for the same trip to Alton Towers.
- Prizes for the winners were supplied by local companies including supermarkets.
- The PE Staff approached the Senior Management Team to make sure that they had support of school, then approached the school staff, without whom the event could not succeed, as each tutor group in the school had to be involved.
- The format of the row was teams of 10, with a relay format where each pupil had to take part in order. Each pupil should have an equal number of turns but the time for each pupil was at the discretion of the team. The number of rules were kept to a minimum.
- The PE Staff decided on a date and arranged to borrow 10 Indoor Rowers from Concept 2.
Four Weeks Before the Event
- The PE staff explained the idea to pupils in the school and gave each pupil a sponsorship form.
- Each tutor group had to select two pupils, one girl and one boy to represent them in the Channel Row, and they joined with other pupils in parallel tutor groups in the other years in the school. This meant that all teams had ten pupils, two from each of the year groups.
- The PE staff contacted the local press, radio and television to promote the event. This was well received as it involved pupils taking part in exercise to raise money for a good cause.
Two Weeks Before the Event
- To get the teachers more involved the PE staff created four teachers teams that they drew out of a hat.
- To raise further money the teachers could also be involved in the fundraising by paying £1 to guess what the total raised would be. The prize for this was a week in the cottage owned by on the members of staff in the Lake District.
- Pupils and teachers took part in training sessions in how to use the Indoor Rowers and how to change over effectively to minimise lost time on the rower.
- Pupils and teachers could then come down and practice in designated lunch times on the rowers already owned by the school.
One Week before the Event
- The form tutors collected all the money from pupils and the PE staff worked out the total, the winners of the form who raised the most money and won the trip to Alton Towers and the individual who raised the most money were announced the week after the event.
- Articles appeared in local press and on the radio.
Day of the Event
- Concept 2 arrived and set up the ten Indoor Rowers and supplied a big screen and some rowing DVDs to entertain the participants during their row.
- The pupils and teachers arrived after school to take part in the row and after some photographs for local press they started. Each team had the monitors set to 35,000m.
- The event had 100 participants (ten teams of ten) and at least 150 spectators.
- All teams stopped rowing when the winning team finished.
Week after the Event
- The PE staff worked out who the overall winner who selected the nearest time was and arranged to supply them with their prize.
- The PE staff also worked out from the average split what time each of the other teams would have finished and created a results sheet.
- Once all the money was collected the Teacher/Staff prize was worked out and the prize was given to the member of staff.
- Articles appeared in local press and on the radio.
- The final total was released and a cheque was supplied to the Charity.