Students go the distance for carers
Sports societies from universities around the UK are going the distance in a new fitness challenge to raise £10,000 for essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for carers.
Inspired by stories of heroism from 4,700 carers supporting 3,000 disabled people, our virtual University sports challenge capitalises on student team competitiveness to be first to run or walk the 970 miles to Porec, Croatia.Emily Heslop
With most teams having planned to head out to Porec, Croatia for ‘tour’ during the Easter holidays, Leeds University Union Swimming and Water Polo Society (LUUSWP) decided to bring the competition back to home turf.
Starting on Sunday 26 April, members of each sports team will be running and walking as many miles as possible within a 10-day period. The aim is to be the first team to get to 970 miles collectively, the same distance as Dover to Porec.
The money raised from the competition will go towards the leading UK disability charity Leonard Cheshire’s urgent PPE appeal.
Talking about the inspiration behind the challenge and the chosen charity, LUUSWP President Emily Heslop explained:
“Leonard Cheshire’s care workers need PPE fast to stay safe, protect the NHS and save lives. Cancellation of annual sports tours abroad due to the lock down has left thousands of university students nationwide isolated and bored.
"This is why we are beginning a virtual race on Sunday to our cancelled tour destination to raise vital cash.
“Inspired by stories of heroism from 4,700 carers supporting 3,000 disabled people, our virtual University sports challenge capitalises on student team competitiveness to be first to run or walk the 970 miles to Porec, Croatia.
"The more university teams, the more PPE we can fund for Leonard Cheshire's care workers to thank them for keeping so many safe.”
Leonard Cheshire runs care homes, supported living facilities and services for disabled people across the UK. During this time, PPE is vital to help protect staff, their families and residents from the coronavirus. At the moment, Leonard Cheshire is spending £400,000 on PPE each month, with the figure expected to rise significantly.
Hugh Fenn, executive director UK services at Leonard Cheshire, commented:
“Protecting our frontline care workers and residents is our number one priority, with continuous need for more PPE posing a challenge for the entire care sector.
"Creative efforts like this challenge really do make such a difference, not only in terms of raising vital funds but also for encouraging community spirit in a time when it’s so important to work together.
"We’re very grateful to the LUUSWP team for uniting everyone in good sportsmanship to help us with our urgent PPE appeal.”
For further information and high res images please contact Erin O’Reilly via erin.o’email@example.com.
Notes to editors
The challenge will be kept in line with current government guidelines on daily exercise limits.
University sports teams taking place in the challenge so far include:
- University of Leeds (Women’s Hockey, Men’s Rugby League, Medic and Dentists Football, Badminton, Swimming and Water Polo),
- Lancaster University (Swimming and Water Polo),
- Hull University (Swimming, Cricket),
- Exeter University (Swimming),
- Warwick University (Women’s American Football – Warwick Wolverines),
- York University (Swimming and Water Polo),
- Bristol University (Swimming and Water Polo),
- Kent University (Lacrosse),
- Liverpool John Moore’s University (Volleyball),
- Canterbury Christ Church University (Athletics),
- Newcastle University (Water Polo)
- Northumbria University (Cheer).
More information can also be found on social media: