Bouquet of the week;Features and arts

26th November 1999 at 00:00
Almost 2,000 teachers ran this year's Flora London Marathon, raising thousands of pounds for charity. But on the same day a less well-known event, the Frisby Leicester marathon, attracted slightly fewer entries - just the one, in fact: Susan Frisby.

"It started as a bizarre joke," says Susan, who was frustrated not to get a place in the London event. "But I got masses of support and loads more publicity than if I'd run in London."

Susan, diagnosed as diabetic nine years ago, was on a mission to raise money for four organisations close to her heart - the maternity unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary, where her two children, Louisa, now aged seven and Jonathan, four (pictured with her, left), were born; the local playgroup they attended; their school, Launde Primary, where Susan is now a parent volunteer; and the netball club she joined as a girl. Still a keen player, she's training to be a coach.

So on the morning of Sunday April 18 she ran out of her house in Oadby, near Leicester, and waved goodbye to family and friends vowing to cover 26.2 miles round Leicester and home again. Some hours later she was back, accompanied for the last three miles by her husband, Chris Pond, a former England sprinter and now a secondary maths teacher.

"She's a wonderful person and it was a great event," says Launde headteacher Mark Maksymiw, who was in the crowd at the finishing line. Nominating her for Bouquet of the Week he said: "Everyone in the community supported her and we had a great day."

Susan raised a grand total of pound;2,145, shared equally between the school, playgroup, hospital and netball club.

"Diabetes has made no difference to my sporting life," she says. "In some ways it's helped because it makes me look after myself." Exercise, she says, helps her regulate blood sugar levels.

This week's cover story focuses on Chelsea and Hurlingham, a London comprehensive that almost closed through failure. In five years under headteacher Michael Murphy it has been transformed, with a trebling of the school roll and a radical approach to pay. Staff say performance-related pay works for them. See what you think.

James Euesden, aged 18, receives 'Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times', edited by Jo Shapcott and Matthew Sweeney. Sent by Carole Bromley, All Saints' R.C. School, York. Cliff Yates is deputy head of Maharishi school, Ormskirk, Lancashire, and Poetry Society poet-in-residence for secondary education. He has published 'Jumpstart: poetry in the secondary school' (Poetry Society) and a collection of his own poems, 'Henry's Clock' (SmithDoorstop), winner of the Aldeburgh Festival poetry prize for the best first collection of 1999. Please send poems, preferably not more than 20 lines, to 'The TES', Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX, including the poet's name and age, the name of the submitting teacher and the school address .The 'TES Book of Young Poets' (pound;9.99), a selection of poems from this column with an introduction by Sian Hughes, can be ordered by phoning 01454 617 370. A set of posters is available for pound;3.99

Bouquet of the Week is given in association with Marks amp; Spencer. Names, please - and why - on a postcard to Sarah Bayliss, 'The TES', Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX. Or send an e-mail to: sarah.bayliss@tes.co.uk

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