Verulam School launches Miles for Mills challenge in memory of former student Oli Mills

Verulam School hosts a biannual 'Mills Match' in memory of Oli Mills (centre), and has now launched

Verulam School hosts a biannual 'Mills Match' in memory of Oli Mills (centre), and has now launched Miles for Mills as the match was postponed due to the lockdown. Picture: Verulam School - Credit: Archant

Students and teachers at a St Albans school have been taking on different challenges after having to postpone its biannual football match between sixth formers and staff in memory of a former student.

Match for Mills 2012. Picture: Verulam School

Match for Mills 2012. Picture: Verulam School - Credit: Archant

Verulam School were due to attend the Mills Match at Clarence Park earlier this month to play the football match in memory on Oli Mills, who died of cancer in 2005.

Traditionally, students would have spent the four weeks prior planning how to raise money for Oli Mills Foundation – which exclusively donates to the Teenage Cancer Trust, and is run by Oli’s brother Eddie.

Instead, the school launched something similar to raise money, taking inspiration from the recent nationwide 2.6 Challenge – which replaced the London Marathon.

The school used the year it was opened, 1938, a inspiration. For example, students could do a 1.938km run or bike ride, or run 1,938 laps of their bedroom or garden, for the Miles for Mills Challenge.

Mental health lead at Verulam Daniel Tansley said: “In 2018, we raised over £5,000 and over the years the event has raised over £45,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust.

“With so many events being cancelled, it is so important to still give to charities at this time.

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“We have been asking students, staff, parents, governors and Verulam alumni to raise money through sponsorship or donations over the past week and a half and we have had an amazing response.

“So far, we have raised £2,998 which has seen a lot of different types of challenges completed. Ranging from bike rides, runs, walks, HIIT classes, bounces on a trampoline, timed basketball challenge, flights of stairs and even a Lego construction of the school made out of 1938 pieces!

“We are really proud of the Verulam community who have taken on this challenge and empower even more to do so!”

“We have been updating our social media continually and that has had a massive impact on the money raised and challenges submitted.”

During lockdown, the school has also been looking after the mental health of its current students, marking Mental Health Awareness Week with a remote assembly, focusing on this year’s theme of kindness.

Mr Tansley added: “We wanted to link good mental health, good physical health and being kind to others.

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