Students run for the Doctor

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ENTRIES are flooding in from local school students for the Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge, which is part of Coffs Harbour’s September Running Festival.

Leading the charge are two local primary schools: St Augustine’s and Mary Help, with Kororo, Bishop Druitt and Mt St John’s primary schools hot on their heels. The secondary schools with the largest number of entrants to date are Coffs Harbour and Christian Community High Schools.

With just over two weeks until the event, there is still time to enter and be in the running to win sporting equipment for your school. You don’t need to be a large school to win a prize in the Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge.

Schools are broken up into four categories, based on size, with prizes awarded to the schools with the highest percentage of entrants in each category.

Event Director Noel Phillips said, “It’s great to see so many schools getting behind the event. All that is required to be part of the Schools Challenge is to select your school from a dropdown box during the online entry process.

“We had over 400 students from 45 different schools take part last year and we hope to eclipse that number this year. ”

The Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge was introduced to the Running Festival in 2016 to encourage young people to get outdoors and do something healthy in their local community. Studies have shown that children are happier, healthier, and more successful in school and life when they’re active.

There is a total of $3,000 up for grabs for four different local schools, based on participation numbers, so regardless of your school’s size, you have every chance of being in the running as long as you complete one of events on offer in the Running Festival on September 3.

Students can run or walk with friends, family members or teachers over a 3km, 5km 10km or 21km distance. The minimum age limit for the 10km event has been reduced to 12 years and the 21km event to 16 years, to give those more competitive runners the chance to test themselves over a longer distance. Some take part in more than one event, giving their schools a better chance of winning the cash prizes.

School children are encouraged to take part in the community event not only to help their schools but also to do something fun and active in their local community. All proceeds from the event go back into the local community to help sick and disadvantaged children as well as those with special needs.

To find out more about the Doctor On Duty Schools Challenge and to enter one of the events in the Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival on September 3, go to

Read the full story at Coffs Coast Advocate

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