Marathon man Steve takes life experiences in his stride

FROM Buckingham Palace to Bugabira Primary School in Uganda, well-travelled teacher Steve Hill MBE is always a man with a mission.

But nothing is impossible for the deputy head teacher at St Joseph’s RC School in Shaw.

Mixing with royalty and celebrities one week, helping educate some of Africa’s poorest youngsters the next, it is just part of Steve’s unrelenting desire to make a difference to youngster’s lives.

Steve mingled with some of Britain’s best known faces during a trip to the Palace to present Duke of Edinburgh gold awards.

About 3,000 young people from a range of organisations across the UK, including many schools and academies, achieved their gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

More than 50 high profile presenters congratulated the teenagers on their successes. They included comedian Bill Bailey, impressionist Jon Culshaw, Olympic medallist Louis Smith, McFly’s Tom Fletcher, Blur’s Alex James and Steve!

Then it was off to Uganda for eight days culminating in Steve completing the country’s annual marathon.

“It was a very humbling week,” said Steve who has completed a series of fundraising running challenges in some of the world’s most inhospitable terrains.

“It was special to be welcomed so warmly into the community there.

“The marathon came at the end of a series of visits and activities at various institutions, including a home which rehabilitates teenagers who have been living on the streets and an orphanage looking after children whose parents have died from HIV.

“I also had opportunity to return to Bugabira Primary in Masaka where I spent time last year to see the progress of various projects I’d helped set up.

“I also got involved in some recycling projects because there is a big problem with plastic waste. So we turned the plastic and discarded wood into playground equipment.

“I also visited the Jomain Academy – which caters for 48 children – on the island of Kalangala in the middle of Lake Victoria.

“We helped make a playground for the children, played football with them and organised a sports day.

“The marathon took place on a very hilly course in hot and humid conditions.

“But there was lots of stops to high five the local children. I wasn’t chasing a time.

“The way I see it is, if you run past those kids, you’ve got a heart of stone.

“Before the race I was delighted to learn I had been honoured with the award of race number one for the event in which there were 180 international runners and 4,900 local participants. It was a huge honour.

“We’ve raised £5,000 so far for our charities but we’re doing more fundraising in school and on July 7 we have a charity afternoon tea plus a posh dinner on October 11 with the ‘Singing Pilot’ Stuart Beech.”

• ENJOY a fundraising Prosecco and Strawberries Afternoon Tea on Sunday, July 7 at High Crompton Conservative Club. Tea will be served between 2.30pm and 4.30pm.
The event is raising money for the chosen charities of Steve Hill and Year 6 at St Joseph’s.
Tickets cost £15 for adults and £8 for under 11s and are available from the Con Club, St Joseph’s School or call 07753 570690.

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