Rift House kids are put on the spot

Six year old Jack Wallace pictured taking a penalty during the event at Rift House primary school.
Six year old Jack Wallace pictured taking a penalty during the event at Rift House primary school.
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IT certainly was a powerful way to raise money.

These children from Rift House Primary School in Hartlepool gathered hundreds of pounds by testing their skills as penalty takers.

All 188 children at the school in Masefield Road took part in the challenge where the strength of their penalty shot was measured by a machine.

And there were no losers in the competition as every child had their fastest shot recorded.

Organisers said that the advantage of the challenge was that, instead of competing against each other, the children got to try and better their own performance so that they were all winners.

Each of the pupils, aged from four to 11, were sponsored by friends and family with the cash going towards sports equipment.

Deputy head teacher Dave Turner said the event, held just before the half term break, had been a great success just as it had been the last time it was held at the school.

He added: “We have held the same event before and we raised £800.”

The day’s fun was called SpeedMark which is a national scheme that was first established 10 years ago.

The SpeedMark for Schools Challenge encourages schools to raise funds but it also creates employment for ex-professional footballers who run the scheme as well as FA-qualified professional coaches.

It has the backing of former sports minister Richard Caborn and Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association.

The scheme involves an inflatable football goal being set up with an integrated speed radar at the back of the goal. The speed of the shot is displayed on a digital display.

Every child gets three shots and their fastest is recorded on a certificate. Teachers can also have a try at testing their penalty prowess.

The fastest boy and girl in class gets a SpeedMark Hot Shot Award.

Mr Turner added: “Every child in the school was involved from Foundation to Year Six. The children have been practising on the school field and by doing the penalties as a power shot they were testing themselves as an individual.”