Six students from The King Edward VI School in Morpeth are set to carry the flag for England in the Schools’ World Cross Country Championships in Kenya in May.

The boys earned the trip of a lifetime by winning the English Schools’ Cross Country Cup after twice narrowly missing out on the national title. 

But now the Northumberland students face another tough challenge before they have even stepped foot onto the plane to Nairobi. The KEVI team must come up with the cash to fund the £12,000 trip to Kenya, probably the greatest distance-running country in the world. 

Unfortunately, both English Schools and International Schools Sport Federation don’t provide any financial support for this trip and the funds will have to be found by the team themselves.

The Morpeth students had been among the medals two years in a row facing the best cross country runners from 46 counties. Finally, their persistence was rewarded in this year’s event at Woodbridge in Suffolk when they lifted the silverware and with it the chance to represent England in the ISF World Schools Championships which have been staged since 1975.

Left to right – Bertie Marr, Liam Roche, Ethan Phillips, Ryan Davies, Joe Dixon & William De Vere Owen (holding cup). Other runners not pictured are Oliver Calvert and Elliot Mavir.

This is an outstanding example of North East sport being represented at international level and it is truly amazing that The King Edward VI school can produce six such talented athletes who will be competing against the world’s best in Kenya. The students will be flying out on 9th May and returning on 14th May 2024.

“At last, all their years of hard work has paid off”, said PE Teacher Mark Wickens. “Keeping the core of the team free from injury and illness has been the key to our success, where in previous years this has been our Achilles heel.’ 

The boys have been training together for years and competing at local, county, regional and national level representing both their schools and Morpeth Harriers. They have not only forged tight friendships but a team desire to support each other and win.”

Attention will now turn to Kenya and the chance for a small market town in Northumberland to take on some of the world’s best in Nairobi. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the boys and one that they have earned through their own hard work and dedication to their sport. It is very rare to be able to field a school team with such quality and talent and one which will be very hard to replicate in future years. 

The King Edward VI School are very proud to be sending their school team to represent England in such a prestigious event and would like the whole community to try and help with the funding for this trip.  The school has set up a ‘Go Fund me’ page on their school’s website, where individuals, local businesses and organisations can pledge any amount of money to help with the financial cost of this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

If you are interested in making any form of donation please visit our GoFundMe page