Obstacle course set to be muddy hell for Hartlepool school staff

Stranton Primary School staff Rebecca See, Thomas Hardwick, Anthony Emms, Phil Pritchard, Lauren Greenan, Sian Weatherall, Neil Nottingham, Abigail Gretton, Sophie Hartshore, Andrea Windram, Chelsea Campbell, Amy Lockwood and Ellie Tyers with the mascot from Zoes Place Picture by FRANK REID
Stranton Primary School staff Rebecca See, Thomas Hardwick, Anthony Emms, Phil Pritchard, Lauren Greenan, Sian Weatherall, Neil Nottingham, Abigail Gretton, Sophie Hartshore, Andrea Windram, Chelsea Campbell, Amy Lockwood and Ellie Tyers with the mascot from Zoes Place Picture by FRANK REID

Things are going to get messy for staff from a Hartlepool primary school as they prepare to take on a gruelling obstacle course again in memory of a former student.

A brave team of 15 staff from Stranton Primary School are getting ready to take on the Tough Mudder Challenge on Saturday.

Stranton Primary School staff during the Tough Mudder 2016 challenge

Stranton Primary School staff during the Tough Mudder 2016 challenge

They are doing it as part of annual fundraising in memory of pupil Dan Sullivan, who died aged just seven in 2012 from a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia.

Fourteen staff members completed the Tough Mudder at Belvoir Castle near Lincoln last year.

And despite admitting the 13-mile course was “horrific” with its muddy fields and electric shock obstacles, the school has signed up for a second time.

Headteacher Neil Nottingham said: “I can’t believe we are doing it again to be honest.

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan

“It was far muddier and more painful that we thought was possible.

“Some of the obstacles were far worse in reality than what we had seen, particularly the electric shock therapy which was the very last obstacle after 13 miles. We all got a few sharp zaps.”

Mr Nottingham added: “We are doing it again because every year we do something for charity in memory of Daniel.”

Last year the school gave sponsorship from the Tough Mudder to Believe In Magic which helps spread magic to seriously and terminally ill children in the UK through special and once in a lifetime experiences.

It was the preferred charity of Daniel’s family and had allowed him to appear on stage with pop star Jessie J.

This year, the school are supporting Zoe’s Place Baby’s which is the chosen charity of the current Miss Tees Valley Ellie Tyers, from Hartlepool, who is a classroom assistant at the school.

“When Ellie told us about Zoe’s Place we felt so moved we felt we had to do something,” added Mr Nottingham.

To boost funds, Stranton Primary is getting the whole school involved and is holding its own Junior Tough Mudder event beforehand on the school field.

Pupils taking part will be collecting sponsorship and there will be collection buckets on the day.

The Tough Mudder is all about using team work to overcome its obstacles and is designed to test physical strength and mental grit to the limit.

Staff have been training together in school to make sure they are ready for all can throw at them.