On Sunday 9 May, a group of six pupils and staff from Pocklington School completed the Wings for Life World Run 2021, to raise awareness and fundraise for the Wings for Life Foundation.
The aim of the Wings for Life Foundation is to support promising research projects and clinical studies into spinal cord injuries around the world, with the ultimate aim of finding a cure.
The inspiration to participate in the challenge came from Lower Sixth pupil, Felix von Plotho, who explained: “I have been paraplegic since birth, so I really wanted to support this charity. It gives hope to people like me or people who have suffered life changing injuries, who are wheelchair bound but who dream of one day being able to walk again.”
The idea of the run is that all participants from around the world, set off at the same time, irrespective of time zone. They are chased by a virtual catcher car, which sets off half an hour after participants and increases its speed every thirty minutes. Individuals set their own personal distance target to reach before they are overtaken by the car, marking the end of their challenge. Participants pay an entry fee to download a tracking app, one hundred percent of which goes to spinal cord research.
Felix and his support team of fellow students Chris Sebastian and Thomas Brown, Fenwick-Smith Housemaster Patrick Dare, Fenwick-Smtih Resident Tutor Trevor Loten and Head of Sixth Form Tim Morris, set off from Fenwick-Smith House at midday exactly on Sunday 9 May and followed a route around Pocklington. Felix had set himself a goal of completing 10km in his wheelchair before he was caught by the virtual catcher car, which meant his goal pace was 7.12min/km. Spurred on by his support team, Felix achieved an amazing 12km before he was caught. On completing the challenge, Felix said: “I’m so tired – it was really hard, but next year I would like to aim for 15km!”
Patrick Dare and Trevor Loten both commented on what a pleasure and a privilege it had been to support Felix in his challenge and looked forward to participating in such a great event again next year which takes place on Sunday 8 May 2022. For further details please visit the Wings for Life World Run website .