John Paul Academy pupils step up to support Celtic FC Foundation

A TEAM of school pupils from Glasgow’s John Paul Academy are taking on the Paradise Steps Challenge at Celtic Park today, to raise funds for Celtic FC Foundation.

The Challenge will see the participants climb every single step within the stadium and, with approximately 8,000 steps in Paradise, this event is a massive test of stamina, concentration and endurance.

Encouragingly, participants are in high spirits and we spoke to two pupils ahead of today’s event.

Brandon Dutton, 14, and Joseph Divers, 15, have followed a dedicated training regime in preparation for the Paradise Steps Challenge.

Brandon said: “We’ve been training for three months to try and get our fitness up to the required standard and we’re really looking forward to it, it’ll be a great achievement.”

Joseph added: “As well as being good for fitness, it’s really inspiring to raise money for such a good cause. We’re really keen to support the great work of Celtic FC Foundation and we are all determined to hit our fundraising target.”

Each participant in the Paradise Steps Challenge has pledged to raise a minimum of £125 for Celtic FC Foundation’s ongoing work around Health, Equality, Learning and Poverty (HELP).

The pupils also spoke of their fond memories of Celtic Park and how past victories would inspire them to give it their all.

Brandon said: “Looking around this stadium and remembering the games I’ve seen here, like the Barcelona game in 2012, you can’t help but feel motivated.”

Joseph also said: “My first game here was against Dundee United in 2004 which was really special as it was Henrik Larsson’s last game.

“Moments like that make you realise that this stadium has witnessed so many incredible occasions and we’ll carry that with us into the challenge.”

John Paul Academy PE teacher, Paul Cassidy, also spoke of his delight that the pupils have fully committed to the Challenge.

He said: “It’s great for us to be involved with Celtic FC Foundation through the Paradise Steps Challenge and the pupils were all excited to start training.

“As well as the attraction of Celtic Park, supporting Celtic FC Foundation under their banner of Health, Equality, Learning and Poverty was a key incentive for our group.

“Events like this promote team work and encourage dedication and commitment. I’m really pleased that the boys have responded so well.”

There’s still time to support the incredible efforts of John Paul Academy and you can make a donation HERE