Twelve months ago we all embarked on a pretty epic challenge which we called Elympics. The idea was simple; to raise as much money as we possibly could for four fantastic local charities through exercise. You can refresh yourself on how it all worked on our launch blog post here.
So, 365 days and 17,880 miles later, how did we do?
Often, publicly committing yourselves to a long-term challenge that lives or dies on the contribution and commitment of a whole team can pose a bit of a risk. What if interest wanes, or even worse… what if there's no interest at all!? Fortunately, the table above is testament to the everyone's continued commitment and passion for the challenge; a commitment fuelled by seeing the tangible and positive impact all those miles had on the charities they benefited. The leaderboard only tells part of the story of Elympics. It only takes into account the exercises we're able to track via Strava and overlooks all of the unlogged goals scored, wickets taken and heights scaled - all of which contributed towards our end goal to make the last 12 months at Engage our healthiest ever!
Personally, I'm hugely proud of what we've achieved and have enjoyed watching our gradual transformation from couch potatoes into runner beans! There's also been a noticeable and positive shift in the team's attitude to health and exercise, which will hopefully yield some of the more long-term benefits that come from adopting an overall healthier lifestyle.
Some of our best bits
- We spent a total of 2,041 hours exercising. That's 85 full days!
- We got our best ever turnout for the Leeds Abbey Dash, with 16 people running and raising £79.36 - not bad for an hour's work!
- Durham ran his first ever Marathon in an impressive 4:31:03. If that wasn't enough, he also took on the legendary Etape Du Dales sportive, finishing the punishing 110 mile course in just over 7 hours - Chapeau!
- We handed out a total of 12 extra days holiday to the team. Randomly awarded each month to someone who raised over £30 - the equivalent to 150 miles of cycling or nearly 40 miles of running.
- The highest single grossing activity was a cycle by *ahem* me, which raised £30.50.
- We even started our own amateur cycle club, successfully completing a number of 'Tour De Engage' rides together all around Yorkshire.
- Alongside all the exercise, we also ran some (very tasty) bake-offs to help replenish all those lost calories and raise even more money.
Following the money
In total we sweated our way to raising a whopping £7,130 for our four charities, which included £645 of donations from friends and family, so a huge thankyou to everyone who put their hands in their pockets for the cause. As well as money, we also donated our time by taking the team along to help our charities throughout the year on a variety of tasks, from tree planting to fence building!
We asked our charities for a few words on how they've been putting the money to good use...
We’ve loved working with Engage this year and it is fantastic to hear that you are going to keep us on as a nominated charity for this year coming. The donations that you have made are almost exactly the cost of a new tandem for the Wetherby Tandem Club, which also benefits people from Harrogate and Leeds. Thus we can help even more local disabled people to enjoy the myriad benefits of cycling. - David Shaftoe, Open Country
CATCH is a volunteer led small charity based in the heart of Harehills. The funds raised through Elympics have had a direct positive impact on the young people and wider community we support. Running a community building can be tough with all the running costs and bills. Elympics has allowed us to focus on the delivery of our much needed services without the increased pressures of having to fundraise or find funding to run our building. The more we can have the building open and the more people we can do to support the community and young people. - Ash Razzaq, CATCH
So what’s next for Elympics?
We’re excited to announce that Elympics - Year 2 is due to start today, the 1st March 2017, and will run for another whole year. We’ll be bringing you a shiny new website soon to track all of our activities as we push ourselves even harder to try to smash last year’s target and raise £10,000. It's a tough challenge, but we’re confident we can do it, especially as many of us are considerably fitter and lighter than we were 12 months ago!
We really hope you continue to follow and support us through the next year of Elympics and look forward to sharing the results with you this time next year! Remember to follow us on Instagram to get a front row seat as the action unfolds!