Children across every age group at Ballard joined in the fundraising fun, finding a host of ways to complete a ‘Captain Tom 100’ challenge, with many across the bank holiday weekend.

Their combined efforts smashed their fundraising target, raising over £800 so far for The Captain Tom Foundation to support people facing bereavement and champion education and equality.

Challenges included a 100-minute whole-school Zumba dancing class, with pupils taking turns to join in their ‘bubbles’ to complete 100-continuous minutes, a whole-school coin collection, swimming 100 widths of the school pool, and undertaking 100 acts of kindness.

The youngest children in Nursery and Kindergarten rose to the challenge of finding 100 hidden tennis balls, while the oldest in the senior school completed 100 laps of the athletics track – they ran, skipped, power-walked, rolled, three-legged raced, did keepie-uppies, and danced their way from one end of the 100m track to the other, completing nearly 1,000 laps. The theme even extended into lessons, with quizzes on the 100 most commonly used words in French and German.

Pupils of all ages spent the week leading up to Captain Tom’s birthday learning all about him and thinking of ways they could raise money for important causes individually.

Several undertook their own Captain Tom 100s at home, including many Year 7 pupils: Daniel Bell completed 100 road miles on his bike in seven days; Bert Newitt-Regan scored 100 penalties; Alexa Lister swam 100 laps; Izzy Shrimpton and Grace Inman baked 100 cakes to sell to their friends. Other individual fundraisers include: Ben Sawdon (Year 9), who ran for nearly an hour, doing 100 laps of his house and plenty of trampoliners – Freja Van Lindholm (Year 5) completed 100 sit down-stand up bounces; Sophie Dixon (Year 2) and brother Alex (Year 6) completed 100 flips on their trampoline, as did Olivia King (Year 7), whilst sister Amy (Year 5) undertook 100 chin ups. Leo Osborne (Year 5) travelled around Burley and Lymington and took pictures of 100 different flowers.

Andrew McCleave, Headmaster at Ballard School, said:

“This fundraising challenge, inspired by such a remarkable man, captured our imagination here at Ballard, and I have been so impressed by the ideas, the energy, and the commitment shown by everyone across the School community.

“Thinking of others and keeping active are two of our key values at Ballard – and this fantastic fundraiser gave us the opportunity to do both. By working together we build a sense of community and foster in individuals self-confidence and the ability to take on challenges too. For that reason, days like this are a big part of why we are such a happy school.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the children, and we are all hugely proud to celebrate Captain Sir Tom Moore, and hopefully help inspire a new generation of Captain Toms who can go out and make a difference.”

The ‘Captain Tom 100’ is a charity challenge launched by the Captain Tom Foundation, which invited people of all ages to take on a challenge around the number 100 over Captain Tom’s birthday weekend, starting on Friday 30 April through to Bank Holiday Monday 3 May.

It celebrates what would have been the 101st birthday of Captain Tom, who during the pandemic, stepped up to support the NHS by taking on his famous 100-lap walk around his garden, inspiring millions to donate.