A SPORTING teenager from York is going all out in a bid to raise cash for his school.

Jack Ratcliffe from Clifton is a student at Applefields School in York. He has Downs Syndrome and has been inspired to run the 5 km from his home to school in Bad Bargain Lane, Burnholme as part of a fundraising challenge.

He was inspired to get started by Lloyd Martin running the London Marathon - the youngest person with Downs Syndrome to complete a a marathon.

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Jack has been training hard to practise couch to 5k and is planning to run to school on Thursday, July 4 with pupils and staff greeting him at the entrance to show their support.

Jack's mum, Ali Metcalfe, said: "Jack's favourite thing is playing football. We then decided to do use the Couch To 5k app, but to keep him inspired and give him a goal to aim for.

"I came up with the idea of running to school and may be raising some money. His teacher Emily Pilmoor was on board from the start, and she discussed with him what they could raise some money for and Jack said sports equipment for school. After the challenge Jack and PE teacher Tim will sit down and discuss what to spend the money on.

"Jack, who at the best of times is a reluctant walker, let a lone a runner, tiring easily, is doing amazing with the training  and now there is only a couple of weeks left before he runs to school on the morning of July 4.

"He goes out three times a week and is doing incredibly well despite occasional  knee pains or a stitch. He is finding the Couch to 5K app really helpful although sometimes does shout at it towards the end of a run. He has also done his own run playlist of all his favourite songs."

Emily said: "Jack is an avid sportsman and is well-known across the city for his contribution to our school. Jack is one of our post 16 students, he is a role model for his good sportsmanship and leadership skills in PE.

"Sports and physical activity are hugely important to our students at Applefields School. Jack, along with many of our students, uses sports as a vehicle for social communication with their peers. In addition to this, it provides many of our students with a source of friendship, opportunities for moral development and personal challenge. Jack recognises that sports is an integral part of Applefields.

"Jack absolutely loves school and it is incredible that he wants to give something back to Applefields. We are delighted with all the community support Jack has received and we are so proud of him. Jack is planning to meet with the PE teacher and discuss how he spends his fundraiser money, what he feels needs replacing and what new equipment he could buy for new activities.

"He has also has recently started challenging himself by searching for opportunities beyond the school, he has been shadowing sports coaches at York City Foundation each week. When Jack shared the news of his running challenge, we were all so excited to support him on his new adventure. Jack has been sharing his progress and photos with his class every week. He loves hearing supportive messages from his friends and talking about his progress. The students are amazed when he tells everyone he can run for 25 minutes without stopping.

"We are all so proud of Jack’s determination and commitment to this personal challenge. We can’t wait to see him running round the corner on  July 4 with a smile beaming on his face."

To support Jack go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jackrunschool