THERE was plenty for police to tackle and teachers to mark at Victoria Park.
But it had nothing to do with crime or exams as the cops and school staff were taking part in a charity match on Hartlepool United’s pitch for Sport Relief 2012.
More than 700 pupils from across Hartlepool’s secondary schools filled the Cyril Knowles stand of the ground to cheer on their teachers to a 4-2 victory.
The event was organised by Inspector Lee Rukin, of Hartlepool Police, to raise money for the charity that helps disadvantaged people both in the UK and abroad.
And the day was such a big hit with children and adults alike that Insp Rukin is hoping to organise an even bigger game next year.
He told the Mail: “The day surpassed my expectations in overall enjoyment.
“It is fantastic to see the young people enjoying an event that has been planned by the police.
“My ambition was to improve youth engagement with the uniformed services, and I firmly believe I have set the groundwork for further developments.
“Now I hope we can continue this next year, and make it even bigger and better.”
Pupils walked from Dyke House Sports and Technology College as part of Sport Relief’s sponsored mile initiative.
Youngsters then paid anything from 1p to £1 on the gates to raise money for the charity.
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond also put on his boots for the teachers’ side.
It was a very competitive game that has pupils cheering and singing in the sunshine, but it wasn’t just the game keeping them entertained.
Hartlepool-born police pilot Adrian Hardwick, who went to Brierton School, flew the force’s helicopter to the stadium where he hovered over the pitch and waved to the crowd.
Police horses and vehicles were also on show for the children while a host of local police officers and police community support officers were in the ground to speak to the children.
Assistant Chief Constable Sean White also came from Cleveland Police’s headquarters in Middlesbrough to see the event first-hand.
He said: “It is great to see so many children enjoying a day organised by the police and shows the important community role the police play.”
A fun penalty shoot-out for schoolchildren was also held at half-time.
• For more Sport Relief events see Saturday’s Mail