Youngsters at schools across York and Selby have completed a 40,000 km Around the World charity challenge with 4,000 kilometres to spare.

Staff, children, families and friends at all 24 schools in Ebor Academy Trust took part in the challenged and travelled a total of 44,456 kilometres (26,624 miles) raising £4,000 for NHS charities. The distance around the globe is just over 40,000 kilometres.

“It’s an amazing achievement and everyone who took part should feel very proud of themselves,” said Ebor’s chief executive Gail Brown. “Not many people can say they were part of a team that ran around the world.”

The challenge started on May 1 and participants ran, walked, cycled or wheeled every day throughout the month. They took part in fields, along coastlines, around the houses – as well as in back gardens and even in paddling pools.

“The purpose was to stay fit and keep healthy, as regular exercise is accepted as being beneficial for physical as well as mental wellbeing,” said Mrs Brown. “It was also a welcome distraction to the school closure lockdown programme because of coronavirus covid-19.

“We set up a JustGiving page just in case anyone wanted to sponsor any of our activities – but recognising the lockdown was causing financial hardship for some our of families, it was only ever an option for people to take up if they wanted. If anything, this made today’s figure, of £4,060, even more satisfying – our target was just £750. All money raised goes to charities supporting NHS staff and volunteers.”

Picking up the fundraising gauntlet with enthusiasm was five-year-old Annie Gawthorpe, a Reception pupil at Sigglesthorne Church of England Primary Academy in the East Riding. Annie and her many supporters raised over £2,000 as Annie cycled 155 miles. According to her mum, she has “loads of memories and loads of scrapes from falling off her bike!”

Annie’s friend at another Ebor school, Alice, aged seven, of Staynor Hall Community Primary Academy in Selby, is another prominent fundraiser and cycled 106 miles over the month.

Gareth Jones, Ebor’s PE lead, had the original idea for a month-long charity exercise event. “It was brilliant that so many of our pupils, staff, families and friends got into the spirit,” he said. “I’ve heard so many positive stories of people’s different exploits. One little girl even clocked up some metres by swimming in her paddling pool!”

The JustGiving page is still open for donations at

Source: York Press

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