Students from St Augustine's Primary School with their winning voucher as well as (back row, from left) Mike Conrad (Bendigo Bank), Hannah Radke and David Lang (Doctor on Duty), Peter Watts (St Augustine's principal), Hadley Black (Village Sports) and St Augustine's PE teacher Candice Butcher.
Students from St Augustine's Primary School with their winning voucher as well as (back row, from left) Mike Conrad (Bendigo Bank), Hannah Radke and David Lang (Doctor on Duty), Peter Watts (St Augustine's principal), Hadley Black (Village Sports) and St Augustine's PE teacher Candice Butcher. Sinclair Black

Doctor rewards winning schools

IN A tightly fought finish, the winning schools in the inaugural Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge have been announced with St Augustine's, Mary Help of Christians, Bonville Public and Mt St John's primary schools the lucky winners for 2016.

The Doctor On Duty Schools Challenge attracted more than 400 students from 45 schools across the region with some entries coming from as far away as Tamworth, Sydney and over the Queensland border.

The Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge was introduced to the Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival this year to encourage school students to take park, do something active in their local community and help their school win sporting equipment.

Running Festival event director Mick Maley said it was fantastic to see so many school students getting involved and it was a very close contest in some of the divisions.

The two schools with the largest number of participants were St Augustine's and Mary Help of Christians primary schools.

"Rumour has it that there was some friendly rivalry between the principals of the two schools, who happen to be husband and wife,” he said.

"Two schools who had significant numbers enter and only narrowly missed out on a prize were Kororo Primary and Orara High School.

"Staff at both these schools were very supportive of the event and we look forward to their involvement again next year.”

Each of these schools has been awarded a sports voucher ranging from $500 to $1250 to spend on sporting equipment.

Some of the staff have already been seen browsing the sports catalogues to see what their money will buy them.

St Augustine's principal Peter Watts said he was thrilled with the result.

"It was a great day at the Running Festival and fantastic to see so many young people out enjoying themselves,” Mr Watts said.

"We are already looking forward to next year's event.”

Mr Maley said he hopes the Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge continues to grow in the future.

"The introduction of the Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge to the 2016 Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival definitely contributed to the record number of more than 1600 participants and we hope it is the start of something really big,” he said.

SCHOOLS CHALLENGE WINNERS

The winners of the Doctor on Duty Schools Challenge for 2016.

Extra Small School - Mt St John's Primary School (Dorrigo)

Small School - Bonville Public School

Medium School - Mary Help of Christians Primary School (Toormina)

Large school - St Augustine's Primary School (Coffs Harbour)