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'This has been special': Pupils unite to raise awareness of meningitis at memorial event

PUBLISHED: 13:47 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 02 May 2019

Some of the children competing at the successful inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick Howes

Some of the children competing at the successful inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick Howes

Archant

The parents of a six-year-old boy who died suddenly of meningitis B have hailed the generosity and compassion shown by primary school pupils.

Oliver Hall. Sporting action between two primary schools took centre stage as part of a successful memorial day event to remember Oliver. Pictures: Courtesy of the Hall familyOliver Hall. Sporting action between two primary schools took centre stage as part of a successful memorial day event to remember Oliver. Pictures: Courtesy of the Hall family

About 50 youngsters from Red Oak and Pakefield Primary School's in Lowestoft united in a range of sporting events to help raise awareness of meningitis at an inaugural memorial tournament.

The youngsters remembered Oliver Hall, of Halesworth, who died after a short battle with illness on October 24, 2017.

Since Oliver's death his parents Bryan and Georgie Hall have worked with the charity Meningitis Now to raise awareness about the condition and inform others that children born before September 2015 are not routinely immunised.

Although Oliver was not a pupil at either of the schools, Mr Hall is a teacher at Red Oak Primary – and the whole community was shocked by the tragedy.

Some of the medals presented at the successful inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick HowesSome of the medals presented at the successful inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick Howes

Johnny Lee, PE teacher at Red Oak, said: “This was a terrible shock for everyone close to Oliver and also to the Red Oak community.

“So on Wednesday (May 1) we arranged for 24 Red Oak children to play a friendly sports tournament with Pakefield Primary School to help raise awareness of childhood meningitis.”

Mr Hall and staff from the two primary schools prepare for the inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick HowesMr Hall and staff from the two primary schools prepare for the inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick Howes

Kick rounders and matball games were among the activities as enjoyment, success and laughter flowed for many youngsters at the memorial tournament held at Red Oak.

Heather Madsen, headteacher at Red Oak, said: “The teams were mixed to include pupils from each school to ensure it was not about winning but more about enjoyment and making new friends and connections.

Sporting action at the successfull inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick HowesSporting action at the successfull inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick Howes

“The tournament concluded with all receiving a participation medal and in true sportsmanship style, a handshake between old and new friendships.”

With trophies and medals presented by Mr Hall, he said: “On behalf of my family I would like to say how honoured we are that this event has been organised to acknowledge Oliver and in the spirit in which he played sport.

Sporting action at the successful inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick HowesSporting action at the successful inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick Howes

“Although Oliver wasn't a pupil at this school the generosity and compassion that everyone involved with the school has shown makes us feel that he will be remembered here as if he was.

“This has been special because all of the children, from both schools, have had a chance to play together side by side with the focus on having fun – something that Oliver was extremely good at.

“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”

A Pakefield Primary spokesman said the school was “proud to be a part” of the first Oliver Hall memorial tournament.

Mr Hall at the inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick HowesMr Hall at the inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Mick Howes

To find out more or make a donation visit oliver-hall.muchloved.com

Some of the youngsters competing at the successful inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Heather MadsenSome of the youngsters competing at the successful inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Heather Madsen

The trophies were presented by Mr Hall at the successful inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Heather MadsenThe trophies were presented by Mr Hall at the successful inaugural Oliver Hall Memorial day. Pictures: Heather Madsen

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