24-hour Charity Endurance Challenge

On Friday 18 March, Red Nose Day 2022, 27 fantastic Year 11 pupils began an epic sport challenge to raise money for Comic Relief and the School’s chosen House charities.

Working in teams of five or six, their challenge was to keep three exercise bikes and three cross trainers moving constantly throughout a 24-hour period. Starting off with a video message from notable sports stars, including The Body Coach Joe Wicks, spirits and energy levels were high. The girls pedalled and cross-trained throughout the day, cheered on by peers and entertained at lunchtime with a Karaoke Party which boosted their funds and their spirits.

Watching the Comic Relief programme on BBC, and seeing themselves on BBC South Today, made the evening shifts a pleasure, with treats courtesy of Sainsbury’s Farnborough keeping energy levels up. The approach to midnight brought a predictable slump, which was overcome by some delicious Pizza Hut-donated pizzas. As the small hours approached and the end was in sight, those not exercising moved out to the Hill to watch the sunrise – a very rare and memorable moment for the athletes. The end approached, and parents filled the Sports Hall to cheer their daughters over the virtual finish line at 9.00 am on Saturday 19 March.

Year 11 pupil, Hannah, shared her thoughts of the experience: 'I was so excited to be a part of the 24-hour endurance challenge for Comic Relief. Obviously, at times it was really tough to keep going but having my friends around and us all supporting each other to push through was amazing and super fun. I am really proud of us all and we have made memories which will stay with us forever.'

Director of Sport, Mr Daniel Emery, commented: ‘When the girls approached me with this idea I must admit, I took a little convincing; I just was not sure they knew what they were letting themselves in for. Who would want to use a cross trainer at 3.00 am? But, I clearly underestimated them: their tenacity, team work and good humour saw them through this challenge. I am incredibly proud of them and what they have achieved.’

Mrs Alexandra Neil, Head, added: ‘This was an unbelievable endeavour and I echo Mr Emery’s pride. Well done, girls.’

To date, the pupils have raised a total of £6,847.79, of which £4,812.48 goes to Comic Relief. The rest is being donated to the House Charities: Naomi House, Treloar’s, Cancer Research UK, Walk the Walk and Yes-J.