Rang 4 (Primary 4) pupils from Gaelscoil Éanna have raised over £2,000 after running a collective marathon in aid of Belfast Trust.

While adhering to social distancing and lockdown rules, a class of 27 kids took their back gardens or local park on Thursday when they each ran a mile to help the local Trust through the Covid-19 pandemic.

While exceeding the 26.2 miles that make up a marathon - running 27 in total – the class has also smashed its initial fundraising target of £250, raising (at the time of writing) an astonishing £2,363 on JustGiving.

The initiative was started by Rang 4 teacher, Aodhán Mistéil, who, as well as encouraging his pupil’s physical activity, has been instrumental in the school’s online learning during lockdown.

As part the class’ efforts, parents were able to document their kid’s marathon efforts by uploading pictures to the online learning resource Seesaw.

Gaelscoil Éanna Principal Maighréad Ní Chonghaile commented: “It was decided that the 27 children would do a run of one mile each, be that laps of their back garden, the green out the front or if they’re in their local park – just something within the care of their own parents where there wasn’t any mixing.

“Whenever Aodhán sent out the plan the feedback was all very positive and the children were rearing to go. They loved the idea of being set something specifically by the teacher that they’re going to be involved in the collectively, but separately.

“It’s developing their empathy with regards to the struggle that’s going on in the NHS generally and the struggle in Belfast Trust.”

“It’s a good lesson for the kids, it’s good physical activity but, even more so than that it’s a good fundraising initiative in desperate times,” she added.

SLÁN: Niall Murphy, Gaelscoil Éanna Chair, joining his family to applaud health service workers on his release from hospital
SLÁN: Niall Murphy, Gaelscoil Éanna Chair, joining his family to applaud health service workers on his release from hospital

“We’re very proud of them and their mummy’s and daddy’s will be most proud. I know that all schools are going through a very difficult and unprecedented time, but our school community has been particularly impact. Niall Murphy who is the sitting chair of our school governors and a founding member of the school, was fighting Coronavirus as most people know. He’s a school stalwart and the whole school community was holding its breath while he and his family were going through it. So, for this to be happening this week – something positive for the children to be doing – while the community is breathing a sigh of relief is brilliant.”