WITH pop music booming and the field full of children, the atmosphere was electric.
A Race for Life event was held on the sports field at the Victory Primary School in Paulsgrove.
And it wasn’t just the school’s 400-plus pupils taking the challenge for the charity event, scores of parents limbered up and joined in.
School sports co-ordinator Kath Unitt led the proceedings, getting the youngsters fired up before the starting horn sounded. ‘Why are we running?’ she yelled out to the crowd.
‘Because cancer affects everybody,’ they replied.
The run raised more than £1,000 for Cancer Research UK thanks to pupils passing around sponsorship forms and selling ice pops.
Children from Reception through to Year 6 took part, and each wore a pledge card on their back with the names of the people they were running for.
One of them, Chloe Robins, 11, said she had a personal reason for taking part. ‘I’m running for my auntie because she died of cancer,’ she said.
‘I wanted to run five laps, which is just short of a mile.’
Another pupil, 11-year-old Jodesha Antoine, said she was running for three members of the school’s staff who fought the disease.
I’m running for my auntie because she died of cancerChloe Robins
Jodesha said: ‘I’m running for Mrs Harris, Mrs Broad and Mrs Vanderlugt.
‘They are teaching assistants at the school and they’ve all had cancer.’
She added: ‘It’s fun to take part, because I like running.’
Classmate Patrick Pacino, 11, said he was proud to be a part of the event.
Patrick said: ‘I’m running to support cancer research.
‘We’re raising money for treatments so that more people can survive cancer.’
Kath said she was thrilled with the enthusiasm the children and parents showed as they ran either two, three or four laps of the field, depending on their age.
‘There’s such team spirit today,’ she said. ‘Everyone’s come together as a school and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.’
Kath said: ‘We just thought it was important because lots of parents wanted their children to take part in the bigger event, but obviously they can’t all do that. We thought why not have something at the school and get the whole community involved?’
Portsmouth City Council Lord Mayor Councillor Frank Jonas was also there to spur the children and their parents on.