We are a group of enthusiastic and physically active 16 and 17 year-olds, currently studying on the first year BTEC Level 3 Sport Science students at Lincoln College. It will come as no surprise, therefore, that we love sport and enjoy a challenge – which is why we are collectively travelling 376 miles from our college to Land’s End, Cornwall. Whilst we can’t actually travel there because of the lockdown restrictions, each student has been challenged to walk, run or jog 23 miles each, in just 12 days, to complete our challenge.
This all started at the beginning of the year with our tutor talking to us about different ways we could keep us physically active during lockdown. We have all seen a huge increase in our screen time, with all our lessons moving to remote delivery, and much of our social contact being via our mobile phones. As a physically active group, we are conscious about this has been affecting physical and mental health – so we were keen to see what positive changes we could make.
Within our class, we usually have people participating in a broad range of thrill-seeking and physically demanding sports, including martial arts, boxing, climbing, rugby, football, gymnastics and even cheer-leading. With the lockdown putting a stop to these, walking or running were a few remaining options – so a walking, jogging or running challenge should be easy, right? Wrong – because none of us really like walking or running! The lack of intensity and competition means the appeal is lost on us – even in such a beautiful city, with historical towns and villages that are surrounded by a vast amount of scenic countryside to walk around.
To help us get into walking, jogging or running, we needed a challenge and we needed motivating. Following a class discussion, we decided to look at one of the furthest points away from the college – and there aren’t much farther points than Land’s End (and Fee said it’s nice there too)! We also decided that a fundraising idea would help to motivate and give us something positive to focus on. We started individually researching charities, with Sporting Minds UK being the main one that stood out to us as a class. Sporting Minds UK is a registered charity which seeks to raise awareness and provide support to enable positive mental health in young sports people from age 16-30 years. Since the announcement of a third national lockdown, the charity has seen a large increase in referrals, so we were keen to try and increase our own physical activity levels to help support those in need of support with their mental health.
We have set a target of raising £250 by the end of our challenge, setting up a Just Giving page and recording our collective progress via Strava.
Since the beginning of January, we have worked in small groups having specific responsibilities to help us achieve our goal. These include monitoring our fundraising and Strava pages, providing regular updates on our progress, and promoting our challenge through any means possible. The challenge started on Monday 1st February 2021 and must be completed by Friday 12th February 2021, which is the final day before half-term.
We thank you for taking the time out of your day to read about our challenge and hope it inspires you, like it did us, to get out there and keep yourself physically active. The pandemic has been horrible for so many, so we are excited to try and do something positive and meaningful. We welcome any support you that you might be able to offer and hope you will follow our progress.