Team St Philip’s race against poverty in the Leeds 10k

A team of nine members of staff from St Philip’s Catholic Primary School in Middleton ran the Leeds 10K in tropical heat on Sunday 20 July to raise money for some of the world’s poorest communities.

Former Team GB gymnast Sam Fern, who has retired from competing, now teaches at St Philip’s Catholic Primary School in Middleton. He joined his colleagues to run in support of CAFOD.  Together they raised over £500 which will support families in some of the poorest parts of the world to transform their lives.


Sam Fern, competed for Team GB last year and joined Team CAFOD for the Leeds 10k

Sam Fern, competed for Team GB last year and joined Team CAFOD for the Leeds 10k

The team joined 10,000 runners on the day in what was the first 10k race for each member of the team, all finishing the race in under 1hr 31 mins.

Sam Fern, 23,  told us “The training really brought us all together and running as a team made it a lot easier. I competed for Team GB as a gymnast at the World Student Games in Russia last year and trained with the Olympic team. This is the first 10k that I have done and it was a great experience. The crowds were fantastic and it was great to be cheered along the route.

“Gymnastics is largely an individual sport but today it was great running as a team as I found it difficult during the sections I was running by myself. I used to train for 30 hours a week as a gymnast for minute-long routines so training for a 10k was very different. The children at the school have been very involved with our race today and some of the children came out to cheer us along so I had to make sure they didn’t see me walking. I look forward to doing it all again next year for CAFOD.”

Hannah Taylor, 33, senior assistant head teacher at St Philip’s, finished the race in 1hr 31 minutes. She said “The race today is just one of the ways in which the school supports CAFOD. It has been a great journey as a team. I found the race quite difficult as I picked up an injury during school sports day in the teacher race so I’m delighted to have finished.

“It wasn’t just the staff who were involved, the children played their part too. Every year group in the school from nursery to year 6 completed their own 10km race by running relay around the sport pitches to fundraise to support us. The children loved being involved and the reception class have been asking to do it again.”


The team displaying their medals outside St Anne's Cathedral

The team displaying their medals outside St Anne’s Cathedral

The team was hit with a setback when Fran Morland, a year 4 teacher, broke two bones in her hand when she fell during one of the team’s training runs. Despite her injury Fran continued to train and completed the Leeds 10K in 1hr 31 minutes.

Staff and pupils alike supported Hannah and the rest of the team with words of encouragement and by donating to their fundraising efforts; while CAFOD’s Ben Oldham and Joanne Taylor, Hannah’s sister, supported them on the day.

Ben Oldham, CAFOD manager for Leeds, who was at the event cheering on the runners said; “The atmosphere was electric during the race. People came out in force to cheer to runners along the whole route. The team from St Philip’s achieved fantastic times especially as it was the first race any of them had competed in. Their training as a team really helped them today. The support and fundraising from the children at their school gave the runners additional motivation to get across the finish line and it was great to see some children from their school cheering them on.

“The efforts of the teachers running today and everyone involved at the school in the build-up to the race enable CAFOD to work with people living in poor communities around the world to raise them from poverty so that they can thrive”.

See all the photos from the day on our facebook page.

If you are feeling inspired by the runners from St Philip’s, this year CAFOD have a new 2 for 1 special offer for the Yorkshire Marathon. A registration fee of £40 will sign up both of you and a friend. For more information and our online enquiry form click here.


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