MORE than 300 children have taken part in a Durham University fun run to raise money for children in Africa.

The Zambia Fun Run, which took place on Thursday, March 12 – before the current coronavirus restrictions came into place – saw children from five Durham schools tackle an obstacle course at the university’s Sports and Wellbeing Park, Maiden Castle, Durham City.

The schools involved were Cassop Primary, St Godric’s RC Primary in Newton Hall, Neville’s Cross Primary, Durham Gilesgate Primary and Durham Trinity School.

As well as the obstacle course, there were other fun activities including penalty shoot-out competitions, football skills, tri golf, javelin throwing and relay races.

The event raised more than £800, which will go to Sport in Action Zambia, which is based in Lusaka, Zambia, and works to support young people and spread important social messages through providing sport and physical activity.

Each year, students from the Wallace Group, which includes Durham, Stirling, Northumbria, Loughborough, Bath, Cardiff Metropolitan and St Andrew’s universities, go to Zambia to work in orphanages and compounds teaching netball, football, volleyball and basketball and helping with school PE lessons.

The fun run proceeds will go to buy sporting equipment which will be loaned out to schools and other groups in the African country.

University staff, students, sports leaders from Belmont Community School and members of the Durham and Chester-le-Street School Sports Partnership organised helped run the event.

Some of the obstacles were provided by 251 Medical Squadron in Sunderland and the Army Cadet Centre in Chester-le-Street.

Aiden, one of the children who took part, said: “It was fantastic for us all to come here and play different games as well as the big run. I enjoyed the football best.”

A teacher added: “We all thoroughly enjoyed the day. It’s been an extremely well organised event, allowing the children to be able to participate in different activities that they can take back to their own clubs.”

Phill Hancock, Holiday Camp and Community Sport Club coordinator at Durham University, said: “When I spoke to teachers and children at the end of the day and asked what they liked best, the most common response was, “everything”.

“We’re grateful to everyone who helped organise the event and who took part. The money raised will make a real difference to children in Zambia.”