The Sheffield athletics star tweeted her support for the students and staff heading to Canada later this year, after they hit their original fundraising target.
Jessica said: “Well done to the CBA (Canada Bound Athlete) crew at Dinnington Comp and their PE teacher Dana for raising 25k in one year for their sports tour to Canada! Good luck!”
Sports teacher Dana Abdulkarim, who is heading up the July sports tour of Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, told the Guardian that the group’s fundraising efforts had been so successful she had raised the target to £30,000.
“We have been raising money since January 2011 and the original target was £20,000 – which we officially passed on 22nd December 22nd.”
“However when I first started organising this trip in October 2010 I wanted to raise £30,000 but thought that might be unrealistic - how wrong was I?”
“The new total is therefore £30,000 which will help subsidise each student’s place on the tour by £400 and pay for kits, transfers, excursions etc.”
Each student with a place on the tour had the task of independently raising cash through selling items online, gardening work and sponsored runs.
The group as a whole then took part in bag packing sessions at major supermarkets, a sponsored movie marathon, car washing, quiz nights and a race night at Dinnington Rugby Club.
Dana added: “The students, parents and staff have all worked really hard and the public have been so generous, it’s actually unbelieveable.”
“We have also been so fortunate to receive many donations from local businesses and sponsors looking to support our efforts, and the Dinnington Town Council also offered financial assistance.”
With the new fundraising target now firmly in their sights, the tourists are set for more bag packing at Sainsburys in Worksop on 25th February, before another car wash, a duck race and a quiz night.
While they’re in North America the Dinnington kids will show off their netball, hockey, football and rugby skills, along with representing the local area.
Their teacher is already proud of them however. Dana said: “The students have been wonderful and worked together so well, often staying for longer shifts, volunteering their time and generally being great ambassadors for the school. “So many people have commented about their conduct and behaviour. The excitement is building and the students are really up for it. We just need our community to continue to help make this special experience a very real reality.”