The University of Sheffield Hockey Club has raised over £1,700 for charity, by collectively walking and running over 1,000 miles whilst socially distancing at home.
In the three days after Monday 20 April, members of both the club’s men’s and women’s teams covered 1,231.4 miles, raising over £2,000 for Sheffield charities helping those left vulnerable by the current coronavirus pandemic.
The huge distance is of that between the Student’s Union Bar One to Poreč in Croatia, which was to be the destination of the club’s annual Easter tour.
After the tour was cancelled due to the current crisis, the club decided to make the trip virtually, recording their physical efforts using the Strava app and totting up the mileage.
Men’s club secretary, Sam Moorhouse, said: “It’s so important that we as a university society give back to the city of Sheffield, because the people here have given so much to us.
“We set an initial target of £500, but to raise more than quadruple that is astounding. Donations have come from players, parents, alumni – it’s amazing given that we’re not actually in Sheffield at the moment.”
As an extra fundraising incentive, the men’s and women’s clubs decided to ‘race’ each other to reach the virtual finishing line. Despite being over 120 miles behind on Wednesday 22 April, the men’s team powered on through the early hours of Thursday to snatch victory.
On his exploits during the challenge, Sam said: “I’ve run 29.5 miles over the past three days so I’m knackered! But it’s for an important cause and it’s a great thing to do whilst we’re in lockdown.”
The club’s first chosen charity, the Cathedral Archer Project, is a homeless charity that has seen an increased demand for its services during the pandemic.
Homeless people are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 due to overcrowded shelters and lack of hygiene facilities, so the charity is providing access to showers, food and one-to-one support.
The second cause, Sheffield Women’s Aid, tackles domestic abuse against women and helps support survivors. Statistics show that domestic abuse calls have risen by 25% during the UK’s lockdown period, while domestic abuse killings have doubled.
The club have completed their challenge, but are still happy to accept donations via the University of Sheffield Hockey Club Virgin Money Giving page, which can be found at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?pageId=1161358#