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Schools Case Studies

Portchester School Fundraising for Steve Bernard Foundation

Date Added: Tue, 18 Aug 2009

Related tags: Fundraising

A major contributory factor in the levels of participation and success that Portchester School in Bournemouth have enjoyed this year has been the support the school have received from the Steve Bernard Foundation.

The foundation, formed following the tragic passing of Steve Bernard in November 2005, aims to mirror Steve?s desire to bring sporting happiness to those around him. It has supported more than 40 projects across 16 different sports including the purchase of two brand new Concept 2 rowing machines for Portchester School. These machines, bringing the school's total to six, have enabled more students to be coached at a single class thereby widening accessibility to indoor rowing and as a consequence further improving the performance of the school teams.

As a gesture of thanks, Portchester organised a fundraising indoor rowing challenge on Saturday 4th July at the Sovereign Shopping Centre, Boscombe on behalf of the foundation.

An 8-man mixed staff and students team attempted to 'row the Channel - Dover to Calais' aiming to complete the 34 km distance in a series of 250m legs in under 2 hours. This meant an average pace of 1m 45s/500m so those slick changeovers at the end of each leg which have served Portchester so well in the schools competitions were paramount!

The team consisted of 5 students, Year 11s Kian Hargan and Jason Everitt, Year 10s Leigh Craig and Tom Hall, Year 9 Ashley Williamson and 3 members of staff, Richard Finney, Richard Harrison-Poole and Paul Sawyer. Their support team of coxes and fundraisers, namely Ben Barnett, Ross Marsh, Ben Smith, Rebecca Gumbs, Becky Hutchings, Natalie Morgan and Sophie Owen alongside the school?s Director of Sport John Greetham were on hand to ensure the challenge ran smoothly and to collect the donations from the shoppers.

Sensible pace judgment was paramount to the team's success as most of the team had never tackled an endurance event of this type before and to everyone's credit they got it spot on and actually managed an average pace of 1m 39.3s/500m to finish in a superb 1 hour 52 minutes 36.2 seconds.

Most importantly they raised over £220 for the Steve Bernard Foundation as a result of their efforts and the money raised from the previous evening's indoor rowing awards presentation.

For more information on the Steve Bernard Foundation then please take a look at their website at

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