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WATCH: Sophie Morris completes 100 burpees for Captain Tom challenge

By Jean Gunn

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A Reay primary school pupil has raised over £800 for Befriending Caithness by taking part in the Captain Tom 100 charity challenge.

Five-year-old Sophie Morris decided to set herself the challenge of completing 100 burpees, an exercise she hates, in time for tomorrow (April 30), which would have been Captain Sir Tom Moore's 101st birthday.

Sophie's mum Eilish Morris explained that her daughter had been watching television with her granny Christine Miller when she saw Captain Sir Tom Moore's family talking about the charity challenge encouraging people to do something themed around the number 100 to raise money.

"She absolutely loved Tom Moore so when she saw it she decided she wanted to do something," said Eilish. "She decided to do 100 burpees. When I asked who she wanted to raise money for she said – someone like Tom Moore that needed a friend. I thought that matched in with Befriending."

Sophie, a primary one pupil at Reay, has raised an amazing £810 in total.

Proud mum said: "Everybody was just absolutely delighted with her and saying what a great idea it was for someone so young."

For many attempting just one burpee – a pushup followed by a leap in the air – would be quite an effort, however young Sophie is a member of Rise Dance Academy and this exercise is part of their routine stamina training.

"That is where the idea of burpees came from – she absolutely hates doing them so she set herself the challenge to complete the 100 by April 30, but managed to complete it in just over a week."

Sophie has a four-month-old baby sister, Lillie, who she was keen to try and explain what she was up to. Her father Steven Morris, who works offshore, helped with encouragement by sending voice notes cheering her on.

The family are living in Thurso at the moment but will be moving to a house in Reay that they are currently doing up.

They have selected Friday, Captain Tom's birthday, as a fitting day to meet with Angie House, a senior co-ordinator of Befriending Caithness.

Angie said: "I am absolutely delighted. Sophie has raised a fantastic amount of money which will certainly help us a great deal. It is so nice of her to do this – she deserves to be celebrated.

"We will soon be looking at group activities again and they cost money. This huge amount of money will help us with transport and venue costs."

People are being encouraged to take part in the Captain Tom 100 charity challenge on what would have been the weekend of his 101st birthday – Friday, April 30 to Monday, May 3.

The Second World War veteran raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday last year.

The challenge was announced a year to the day after he began his own challenge.

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