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Video/Gallery: Fundraisers take on challenges across Suffolk in aid of Sport Relief 2014

18:28 21 March 2014

Staff from AXA support Sport Relief by rowing from Felixstowe to Calais on a rowing machine. Rowers Dean Parker, Lee Seager, Paul Cryer and Paul Muchal with supporters Diane Power, Lisa Gaughan, Carole Markou and Adrian Shorten

Staff from AXA support Sport Relief by rowing from Felixstowe to Calais on a rowing machine. Rowers Dean Parker, Lee Seager, Paul Cryer and Paul Muchal with supporters Diane Power, Lisa Gaughan, Carole Markou and Adrian Shorten

Students and teachers in fancy dress running round the sports track. Office workers embarking on 14-mile midnight sponsored walks. Rowing the equivalent of Felixstowe to Calais. And mud baths.


These were just some of the fundraising challenges people in Suffolk undertook as they raised money for Sport Relief today.

See our gallery here.

Four employees from AXA Insurance in Ipswich rowed the equivalent of Felixstowe to Calais – a distance of 113km – at The Gym, Ipswich.

Paul Muchal, one of the fundraisers who started at 7am and completed the mission in nine hours and 22 minutes, said no-one got seasick but said a bucket was on hand just in case.

“It was hard work,” he said. “There were a few cramps and aches towards the end and we were relieved to finish it!”

They raised £1,200, with an extra £400 donated by AXA Insurance.

Elsewhere five fundraisers met at their Ipswich Building Society office at 3am to embark on a 14-mile charity walk.

They finished just a couple of hours before starting work at 9am. Jason Curtis, who helped organise the event, said plenty of cups of coffee helped them get through the day.

“We raised around £100 and are already planning next year’s fundraiser,” he said.

Holly Bridges said she was more than happy for staff members to fling mud at her during a mud bath at Quayside Nursery at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich.

She said around £100 was raised for Sport Relief.

More than 50 students and staff wore fancy dress when attacking the 1,600m circuit at the Otley campus of Easton and Otley College

Organiser Lisa Folley, from foundation learning, said: “Sport Relief is a fantastic event in the British calendar, as it encourages people from across the country to have fun, be active and generate funds for a variety of needy causes both in the UK and abroad.

“So far we have raised more than £100 and hope to raise more £500 in total at the Otley campus alone.”

A cake sale, a penalty shoot-out and a crossbar challenge were also held.

Hundreds of staff members and students ran, cycled or rowed a mile on exercise machines at One, formerly known as Suffolk One, in Ipswich.

17-year-old James Hammond, BTEC level three student at One, said: “Sport Relief is essential as it raises awareness of how important sport is in society and generates funds to support activities for charities and individuals in the UK and abroad.”

One vice principal, Jenny Milsom, said: “One works with lots of local charities throughout the year.

“We also back a variety of national charity campaigns and we are delighted to have played a part in raising money for this fantastic campaign.”

More than 120 girls aged 8-11 took part in the ‘Dance to the Beat’ performance in front of a full auditorium at Ipswich High School in Woolverstone.

The show featured twelve routines, ranging from lindyhop to rhythmic gymnastics, and classical ballet to modern dance.

Head of junior PE, Mark Wheelhouse, said: “I am so proud of the girls – they have raised more than £650 from their charity dance.

“They have all worked so hard to remember their routines – some of which were pretty complicated. It has been fantastic to see the girls take on board this new aspect of PE, especially for such a good cause.”

Ipswich High School also hosted a charity hockey match at lunchtime between the staff and the school’s U16 hockey team in aid of Sport Relief.

The staff team was captained by Sandie Lister, PE teacher at the school, and Olympic Bronze Medallist in the women’s hockey team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Miss Lister said: “It was such fun to play against the team that I have coached for five years, and I am really pleased that despite being a competitive match, the final result was a fair three-all draw”.

Students and staff at Alexanders College, Bawdsey Manor, tested their endurance with a 24-hour basketball game.

Paul Greaves, head of sport at the college, praised the players for lasting the distance and generating vital funds.

Meanwhile more than 70 staff and pupils at Thomas Mills High School and Sixth Form in Framlingham dressed up when cycling more than 200km – the distance of one day of the Tour de France.

Pupils at Melton Primary School roller-bladed, bounced on space hoppers, balanced bean bags and walked backwards in a mile-long race. One male student even pogo-jumped to school and back every day for the past three weeks.

Youngsters at Trimley St Martin Primary School took part in the Sport Relief challenge with every single child running at least one mile, raising £200.

Headteacher Paul Stock said: “The school is extremely proud of the pupils, who were exceptional today – not just with regards to effort they put into their running but with their attitude towards the challenge and the way in which they supported each other to keep going.”

Anglia Sunshine Nursery in Sudbury also got in to the spirit in its Timmy Time Wooly Jumper Challenge.

Pupils at the school were sponsored to see who could jump the furthest or do the most jumps in 30 seconds, while babies crawled through an obstacle course that was inspired by television favourite Timmy Time.

Teacher Laura Cox said: “Children and staff at Anglia Sunshine Nursery love taking part in Sport Relief. It’s an excellent way to bring staff, students and the community together to get active, have fun and raise money for a great cause.”



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