Danny’s mountain trek in memory of pal

A PARK Gate Primary School teacher is training to climb Mount Kilamanjaro to raise cash for Help for Heroes in memory of his serviceman friend.

Pic of Danny Glavin

Danny Glavin preparing for his trek to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa

Danny Glavin has been hiking and running in preparation for the 5,895m (19,341ft) climb and will be thinking of Royal Marine Richard Hollington who was the 300th British serviceman to die in Afghanistan.

Mr Glavin, 24, said: “A close friend and team mate of mine died in Afghanistan. He was the 300th member of the British armed services to die. I wanted to do something proactive about it to raise money.

The Year Four teacher and Mr Hollington were childhood friends who used to play football together at Purbrook Athletic Football Club as children.

The 23-year-old marine, from 40 Commando, was fatally injured in an explosion while on patrol in the Sangin district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, on June 12 last year.

On returning to England the Royal Marine, from Stroud near Petersfield, died on Fathers’ Day, June 20, last year.

Mr Glavin, from North Wallington in Fareham, said: “It was a great shock. I played football with him throughout my childhood. I couldn’t believe what had happened.

“He was a great lad. I’m doing it in his memory, to honour him and the sacrifice he’s made for this country.”

The teacher will be swapping textbooks for trekking boots when he takes to the highest mountain in Africa in August, and he is walking 20 miles three times a week to train for the trek.

Although he does not have a target time, he also has no worries about the challenge and added: “Just to get to the top would be nice – in one piece.”

Later this month,  May 20–22, Mr Glavin will be taking on the three highest peaks in the UK – Scafell Pike in England, Ben Nevis in Scotland and Mount Snowdon in Wales.

And in addition schoolchildren and teachers in the Western Wards will be hosting Heroes Day on May 20, dressing up as someone they admire and who inspires them, to raise money for Help for Heroes.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by all the support that I’ve had from the schools,” he said. “I’ve had really good support from all the staff here and elsewhere across the local education community. Everyone’s pulled together on it and it has been really good.”

Rebecca Kingsland, head teacher of Park Gate Primary School, said: “Danny’s a fantastic role model for our youngsters in terms of commitment for something and showing the children they can us their skills in so many ways.

“It’s not just that he’s going out there for the cause but he’s going out there doing something he’s passionate about.”

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