College staff complete 668-mile challenge to boost foodbank appeal

Nicola Pollard out cycling as part of the college's 668 mile challenge. Picture: Nicola Pollard

Nicola Pollard out cycling as part of the college's 668 mile challenge. Picture: Nicola Pollard - Credit: Archant

Staff at a coastal college spent their half term holidays running, walking, cycling and swimming a total of 668 miles.

Nick Smith, UPS Lecturer, who completed 43.4 miles on the cross trainer. Picture: Nick Smith

Nick Smith, UPS Lecturer, who completed 43.4 miles on the cross trainer. Picture: Nick Smith - Credit: Archant

Eight members of staff at East Coast College completed a series of tough fitness challenges as they raised money for the college’s foodbank appeal.

The sport and uniformed public services team took on the challenge – which was the equivalent distance of Lowestoft to Mount Snowdon and back again – to inspire their students who would normally be completing an expedition of their own at this time.

Chris Wright, Sports & UPS Lecturer, who cycled 211.25 miles. Picture: Chris Wright

Chris Wright, Sports & UPS Lecturer, who cycled 211.25 miles. Picture: Chris Wright - Credit: Archant

Each staff member took on their own daily fitness challenges to reach the total, completing anything from three to 30 miles a day from May 25 to May 31 – ending with the college’s chief executive Stuart Rimmer running 6.2 miles on the final day.

Inspiring students and raising money for local foodbanks in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth as part of an ongoing appeal, the challenge was hailed a success.

Curriculum Manager Debbie Pring completing her daily walks at the seaside. Picture: Debbie Pring

Curriculum Manager Debbie Pring completing her daily walks at the seaside. Picture: Debbie Pring - Credit: Archant

Nicola Pollard, deputy curriculum manager for health and sports sciences, said: “We had the best possible weather for a demanding challenge which helped those outdoors on long runs, hikes, bikes and especially for some of my colder swims in the sea!

“Collectively, we all did a few miles over to ensure that the challenge could be met in the unfortunate event that someone got injured, although thankfully that didn’t happen.

John Hall, UPS Lecturer, on day four of his cycling. Photo: John Hall

John Hall, UPS Lecturer, on day four of his cycling. Photo: John Hall - Credit: Archant


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“The all-round team effort was superb.

“Everybody committed extra time, determination, encouragement and showed exemplary individual strengths within a solid team.

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“The challenge became a pleasure and an overall credible achievement for all involved.”

In exchange for their efforts, the team asked for donations to the college’s foodbank appeal which was launched in April to raise £2,000 for the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft foodbanks.

They raised £225 throughout the week, bringing the fundraising total to £1,925 – just £75 off the target set.

Nicola said: “£225 raised is excellent news and for such a great cause. Thank you to all those who have taken the time to follow, support and donate to the local foodbank. The donations are an extra bonus to the initial challenge idea.

“For us, it was also about raising awareness, activity levels and complimenting mental health initiatives for students and staff through a range of testing activities. The question now is ‘what’s the next challenge?’”

The trip to Mount Snowdon is usually completed by uniformed public services students as part of their practical assessment in outdoor activities and land navigation. Twenty-three Level 3 students were due to travel to Wales in May to complete the climb, however the expedition was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There is still time to support the college’s foodbank campaign, and donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/eastcoastcollege

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