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St Augustine’s school children meet Sir Mo at Westminster Mile race

School raises £3,150 for ebola victims and the British Heart Foundation

01 June, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Mo Farah with the teenagers 

SCHOOL students met their hero Sir Mo Farah at the annual Westminster Mile run on the weekend.

Seven pupils from Westminster’s St Augustine’s High School were joined by the long-distance runner and multiple gold medal champion before their race on Sunday.

He congratulated them on raising funds for the British Heart Foundation and the Street Sports Hope project which helps children orphaned by ebola.

The Maida Vale school has raised more than £3,150 to date, and pupils carried on raising funds at this year’s event.

Teacher Sam Ebzao said: “We encourage our students to use the power of sport to make a difference to life’s bigger issues, whether that be tackling gender imbalances or, in this case, poverty around the world. It’s fantastic to see them engaging in this event whole- heartedly. They deserve a lot of praise.”

With 8,048 runners joining the race, it was the biggest ever timed mile in the world, starting on The Mall and finishing in front of Buckingham Palace.

People of all ages and abilities took part with races for families, adults, children, wheelchairs, élites, veterans and a special Olympians’ mile, open to anyone who has represented Team GB in any sport at a winter or summer Olympics.

Lead community councillor David Harvey, who ran in one race alongside Westminster Lord Mayor Lindsey Hall, said: “It’s brilliant that school children from St Augustine’s High School have used the event to raise funds to help people to participate in sports in Sierra Leone. This embodies the spirit of community and solidarity that the Vitality Westminster Mile represents. I’m glad they had the opportunity to meet the inspirational Sir Mo Farah, who has done so much to promote the best of British values.”

Cllr Harvey’s finish time was 8mins 23secs, a little more than his previous attempt but no shame for a man over 50. He attributed the slight decline to several weeks of political campaigning for the May 3 council election.  Middle-distance runner  Chris O’Hare won the élite men’s race with a time of 4mins 4secs to claim the Sir Roger Bannister trophy. Sir Roger, who died in March, was the first person in history to record a sub-four-minute mile.

The Vitality Westminster Mile has previously seen Paralympic athlete David Weir become the first person to record a sub-three-minute mile. The old record of 7,664 completions for a timed mile event was set at the New York Fifth Avenue Mile last year.

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