Spalding Grammar School has put on its own “Beat the Teacher” challenge and raised nearly £1,000 so far for an international medical charity.
Year 10 student William Hughes (15) took on languages teacher Richard Knowles (40) in a sprint over 200 metres on Tuesday in aid of Mercy Ships, a team of surgeons, nurses and doctors who give life-saving medical treatment to some of the world’s poorest people.
Mr Knowles, a former British sprinter between 1997 and 2001, had hoped to draw on his experience of running for his country to put the teenage student in his place.
But William ran out an easy winner on the back of winning a silver medal at the English Schools Track and Field Championships in Gateshead on Saturday.
“At the start, it was quite nerve-wracking because I didn’t want to lose,” William said.
“Because of the wet ground, I slipped so I had to work hard to try and gain the ground I’d lost.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect so I tried to run as fast as I could.”
William set a new school record of 23.1 seconds, while Mr Knowles came second in a time of 25.3 seconds.
Mr Knowles said: “It’s the first race I’ve actually completed for 15 years and I’m grateful that William took part.”
The real winner however was Mercy Ships for which Mr Knowles has so far raised almost £940, including a £175 donation from doctors and staff at Sutterton Surgery where William’s dad works.
It’s the first race I’ve actually completed for 15 years and I’m grateful that William Hughes took partSpalding Grammar School languages teacher Richard Knowles
Mercy Ships’ team of medics, including Mr Knowles’ sister Jacqui, work on a “floating hospital” that has treated nearly 2.5 million patients since the charity’s launch in 1978.
Mr Knowles said: “It’s life-transforming to have a ship which docks in different parts of Africa and offers care to people who need it but can’t adfford it.”