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Trust pupils travel to ‘Toulouse and Beyond’ for brain tumour charity

The South Bank MAT family of schools came together during the last week of term to raise money for a brain tumour charity in support of former Carr Junior and York High School pupil, Cain North.

Pupils from all six schools belonging to York-based South Bank Multi Academy Trust (SBMAT) ran, kicked and passed a rugby ball as part of their ‘Toulouse and Beyond’ challenge to raise money for OSCAR’s Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity.

OSCAR’s Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity exists to support and care for children facing brain tumours and their families, to raise awareness of children’s brain tumours and to fund new research to drive down diagnosis time, increase survival rate and improve children’s quality of life during and after treatment.

Cain North, 22, who previously attended two of the SBMAT schools, was diagnosed with a brain tumour 12 months ago and has dealt with this through relentless positivity. Cain, who has benefited from the great work OSCAR’s does, now actively raises awareness and funds for the charity and has been working with Rod Sims, Headteacher at York High School on various initiatives, the latest of which is ‘Toulouse and Beyond’.

Mr Sims said “As a Trust, we wanted to join together to raise awareness and funds for OSCAR’s, which does such incredible work for children and their families. As Cain and I are both passionate about rugby, we wanted to set an exciting rugby-themed challenge. Given that our local team, York Knights, are playing Toulouse Olympique in France at the end of this month, we came up with the plan that we would get pupils across the Trust to try to either run with a rugby ball, or kick or pass a rugby ball a collective distance of 1467km – the same distance as it is from York to Toulouse. We knew that if all the 3000-plus students in SBMAT could run, pass and kick a ball 500m we would achieve our target of ‘Toulouse and Beyond’.”

The children at Knavesmire and Scarcroft Primary Schools were joined during the challenge by professional rugby league players, Bailey Antrobus and Jesse Dee from York Knights and York Valkyrie players, Ellie Hendry and Carrie Roberts, spent an afternoon at Woodthorpe Primary and York High School. The rugby stars motivated the children, joining in with the challenge and impressing everyone with their skill and agility.

Pupils across the Trust also attended either face-to-face or virtual assemblies during the week led by Phil Martinez, Charity Manager for OSCAR’s and learned more about the charity’s work. Phil was joined by Cain North on Friday morning at York High School where students were also asked to wear a sports shirt for the day for a contribution of £1.

Mr Sims adds “At the end of the week, the total distance travelled by the SBMAT pupils, was an incredible 1493.7km. Adam Cooper the Head at Knavesmire saved the day by running the last 6.3 kilometres in the Easter break to get us to a neat 1500km! When we have collected all of the donations, we are predicting we will have raised close to £1500 for OSCAR’s. I’m so proud of everyone who took part, and I’d like to thank everyone who made this challenge possible and to everyone who has donated so far. It has been a very special week seeing our six schools join together for such a great cause.”

If you would like to donate, you can pledge money to OSCAR’s at:

South Bank Multi Academy Trust is a family of six schools: Millthorpe, York High, Carr Junior and Knavesmire, Scarcroft and Woodthorpe Primary Schools.

27 March 2024

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