The Armidale School students race in the City to Surf to raise awareness of Muscular Dystrophy

FOR A CAUSE: TAS students Disa Smart and Sam Jones (front), are expected to set the pace for the huge TAS City to Surf team of 154.
FOR A CAUSE: TAS students Disa Smart and Sam Jones (front), are expected to set the pace for the huge TAS City to Surf team of 154.

WHETHER they are aiming to run it in under 60 minutes or just walk to finish, a record team of 154 students and staff from The Armidale School will run in this weekend’s City to Surf.

And they’re not just in it for Heartbreak Hill or the waves at Bondi.

The group will use the 14km foot race to raise money and awareness in the fight against Muscular Dystrophy.

The Stand Tall for a Cure foundation was established by TAS Old Boy Drew Schofield from Nundle who was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy when he was 12.

Visiting his old school last month, Mr Schofield told an Assembly that when he was first diagnosed with the disease halfway through Year 7, he had no idea what that would mean.

“Until then, I had always thought I was a just bit slower at being able to walk, run and swim,” he said.

“After that I wasted a lot of time thinking about what was in store next, how I would change.

“I soon realised the best way to deal with it, was to ‘own’ it.”

Facing his condition head on, he continued to live an active life, until a broken sacrum, as a result of a fall, put him into a wheelchair last year.

“Being in a wheelchair would change me as a person, but it has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life,” he said.

“Everyday I get to experience a side of humanity that sometimes seems lost or forgotten.”

Mr Schofield works full-time in a Sydney real estate agency and plans to raise the profile of MD through the work of his foundation, including funding stem cell research and better equipment for those living with the condition.

This year, more TAS runners than ever before will hit the pavement from Hyde Park to Bondi, inspired by Drew’s message to “give it all you’ve got”.

“The school’s philosophy is that service to community should be entwined with the adventure opportunities that appeal so much to our students,” athletics coordinator Jim Pennington said. “As an Old Boy, Drew’s story is a particularly powerful one for our students, and it is a privilege to be able to help in this way.”