Frank Hadden launches fund-raising run for injured pupil


By James Martin

A GROUP of Edinburgh schoolchildren has joined forces to try and break the record for fundraising for charity in one of Scotland’s major runs.

More than 160 pupils will run in the 10km annual Bupa Edinburgh Great Run to raise money for a classmate who suffered spinal injuries after a rugby accident.

Scotland’s rugby coach, Frank Hadden, joined pupils at Edinburgh’s exclusive Merchiston Castle School yesterday to launch the run, which takes place on Sunday May 3.

The students are aiming to raise £10,000 for the charity Hearts and Balls, which helps members of the rugby community in times of need.

The pupils are aged between 15 and 19 and, if successful, it would represent the largest amount raised by a group of runners in the event’s history.

The pupils came up with the idea after one of their colleagues – who has not been named – sustained a serious injury during a rugby match.

Pupil Patrick Costello, 17, who organised the entries, said: “I originally aimed to recruit twenty runners so the response has been unbelievable.

“Everyone has been really supportive including the staff and pupils.”

Mr Hadden added: “The efforts of the pupils is fantastic. I used to be head of PE here and it was a job getting some of them to turn out for the cross-country.

“But the effort they have put in has been tremendous. I don’t think they will have trouble completing the race as they are fit young men but it’s fantastic that they have rallied behind the cause.

“Hearts and Balls is a very important charity and shows the community aspect of rugby.

“Running for charity is also a great way of raising your fitness level and applying that to your rugby game.”