Final teams for charity challenge

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DOZENS of police and teachers have been vying to take part in a unique football fixture.

There is only eight days left until Hartlepool police officers take on the town’s school teachers for charity at Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park.

More than 100 teachers and cops have put their names forward to play on the Clarence Road turf, and that is now being whittled down to two 20-man squads.

Plans are well underway for the event on Thursday, March 22, which will raise money for Sport Relief 2012 and see a host of police services on show.

More than 1,000 youngsters will watch the match, which will also see former Pools and England legend Peter Beardsley put on his boots for one of the sides.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond will also be running out, while town MP Iain Wright is hoping to attend.

Inspector Lee Rukin, of Hartlepool Police, who is organising the event, said: “The teams are now full.

“It’s been quite hard to get the numbers down because so many people want to take part. It’s really got people’s interest.

“There have been about 70 teachers wanting to play and sadly that number has had to be cut down. We’ve had a lot of interest from the police side as well.

“It promises to be a great event and I’m sure it’s going to be very competitive looking at the two line-ups.”

ITV’s Take Me Out star and assistant sport and physical activity officer for Hartlepool Borough Council Liam Lewis is also playing.

He has been into Dyke House Sports and Technology College to promote the event and help youngsters with their fundraising efforts.

The Mapleton Road pupils will be doing a sponsored walk to the ground as part of Sport Relief’s walk-a-mile campaign.

Around 100 pupils from each of the town’s other secondary schools will be bussed in to take their seats.

Catcote School Business and Enterprise College and the Pupil Referral Centre will also be sending children.

A wide spectrum of policing will be on show during the day with traffic officers, police dogs and horses and the force helicopter set to make an appearance.

Cleveland Police’s chief officers will also be taking part in the walk to the stadium.

A Sport Relief Mile event is then being held at English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, on Sunday, March 25.

The event will run from 9am-3pm in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council’s sport and recreation service and will have four separate events:

• A one-mile walk, starting at 10am;

• A one-mile run, starting at 10.30am;

• A three-mile run at 11am;

• A six-mile run, beginning at 12pm.

Entry costs £6 for adults, £3 for children and £15 for a family of four – places must be booked in advance online at www.sportrelief.com

For more information about the event contact the council’s sport and physical activity team on (01429) 284050.

Anyone wanting to get involved in the Police v Teachers match or wanting to sponsor the activities is asked to contact Insp Rukin on 07525406440 or email lee.rukin@cleveland.pnn.police.uk