A South Yorkshire headteacher is preparing to take to the mountains in a bid to raise cash for his pupils.
Nick Whittaker, who oversees two specialist schools in Rotherham, is set to take a day and two nights to complete the 100-mile challenge in the Alps next month.
He has run similar races before, but the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc is his biggest challenge and he hopes to raise £3,000 completing it.
The 48-year-old, who leads Kimberworth’s Kelford School and Hilltop School in Maltby, said: “My fundraising target is the equivalent of £30 for every mile of the race, so my idea is to ask people to sponsor me for a mile - either by donating £30 or by pledging to raise £30 – but I’d welcome any donation because every pound will make a difference to the life of a child or young person.
“I hope thinking about how much money is being raised will stop me from thinking about how much my legs hurt.”
Mr Whittaker hopes to raise £1,000 for expedition equipment for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme at the schools, another £1,000 for sensory equipment to help children with the most complex learning difficulties and a further £1,000 for Sheffield’s Foundry Climbing Centre.
The venue is to team up with Nick’s schools to help pupils with profound disabilities learn to climb.
Mr Whittaker said: “I know they will get a lot out of it. My ambition is to open up rock climbing to anyone who has any kind of special need or disability.
“I have been inspired by Clare Hands, a 15-year-old from Sheffield.
“I’ve been climbing with Clare for about six months and, despite having some complex disabilities, she is making unbelievable progress.
“She shows hard work and determination make what seems impossible possible.”
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