Whitley Bay youngsters put their footballing skills to good use when they took part in a sporting challenge to raise money for disadvantaged children in Africa. Around 400 pupils, ranging from Nursery to Year 6 at Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School, signed up for The Big Dribble, which required them to dribble a football for a sponsored, target distance.

The Big Dribble is a fundraising opportunity set up by Alive and Kicking, where children take part in a sponsored dribble around school,” explained Alex Raynor, who is co-leading the scheme with fellow Star of the Sea teacher Sarah Taylor. “With the money raised, footballs are then donated to children playing football in Zambia, as well as in our school.

Teachers set a distance target for the children in their class, during one of their PE lessons, and the children needed to dribble the ball for that distance or as far as possible,” added Mrs Taylor.

We asked families to sponsor their child and hope to have raised £400 to gain FIFA-standard footballs for both our school and also for children in Zambia.

It is not the first time the school, which is part of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, has supported Zambia’s young players.

In November last year, Star of the Sea held a Football Fun Day, where they raised money for the Mfuwe Mags children’s football teams – a cause that has also won support from Alan Shearer and Newcastle United.

The children brought in cash donations as well as bringing in old football boots and shin pads, which are crucial for the children playing on hard, pot-holed pitches,” said Mrs Raynor. “We had football activities inside and outside the classrooms, and children came in wearing their favourite football strips.

We had never taken part in The Big Dribble before, but we wanted to continue the work we had been doing from our Football Fun Day, supporting children’s right to play football in Zambia,” continued Mrs Taylor.

As a Rights Respecting school, it is really important to us to fundraise for these children, as we want to protect their right to play.

Other initiatives planned by the school to help African children include working with Aunt Mary’s School in Zambia, and participating in the art initiative Project Luangwe.

Sent on behalf of Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust and Barking Dog Media. For more information contact david@barkingdogmedia.co.uk or call 07754 271086.

The following images have been reproduced with the kind permission of Kate Buckingham.