As ever, the wonderful OV community has stepped up to support the epic challenge that King’s School Sports Department set the Foundation of pupils, parents, staff and OVs : of raising money for an extremely worthwhile charity, by travelling the official distance needed for a record trip ‘Around The World’.
You will be aware of the famous book ‘Around The World in 80 Days’. The ambitious target that King’s has set itself is to do it in just 8 days! The plan was to run, cycle, walk, swim or row the equivalent of the 18,000 miles. The charity is The Mental Health Foundation, chosen by King’s Monitors and Heads of Houses. The King’s Sports Department recognises the impact that the pandemic has had on young people. We want to ensure that young people across the country get the support they need and that mental health provision is at the forefront of the country’s response to Covid 19.
Over the last week, so many members of the King’s family have got themselves outside and run, walked, cycled, swam or rowed a number of times to add to the total School mileage to achieve this ambitious target. Other ways to get involved have been to make a donation to this worthwhile charity.
We have been really impressed by the number of OVs who have taken part and some of them have shared with us their thoughts on the challenge and sent us photos of themselves.
Hayley Simmonds (Cr 99-06) is British Cycling Champion and Commonwealth Games medallist and she said, “The cold and icy weather has forced me inside for training over the past week but I’m happy to have still been able to contribute some miles to the Around the World Fundraiser. It still feels special to contribute to the King’s community and it’s great that in such difficult times we can all pull together, regardless of where we are in the world.”
George Jeavons-Fellows (Ch 06-13), shared with us his thoughts, “An excellent challenge for an excellent cause. Great to see the King’s community continuing to come together over lockdown and wishing all the best to everyone for the remainder of 2021.”
Anthony Lock (W 05-11) was also out cycling at the weekend, and this photo shows him at the top of Clee Hill. He said of the challenge, “The Around the World challenge is a great challenge for a great cause. I’m happy that my training miles can contribute and give me a little extra motivation to get out in winter for when racing resumes post covid”
Georgina Ormandy (Ch 06-13) is an OV and also a member of staff at King’s teaching in the Sports and Geography departments. She has been enthusiastic supporter of the Challenge and said, “I have really enjoyed participating in King’s ‘Around the World’. Through this challenge my L4 tutees and I have had the opportunity each morning to talk about the benefits of exercise for our body and mind. I have been impressed with the involvement from so many members of the King’s community, from current pupils and families to OVs and staff.”
James Smalley (Br 10-17), who was Head of School and Captain of Rugby in 2017, said, “The Around the World challenge has been great to fill some of the many empty evenings we’re currently burdened with, and with rugby and other sports having been on hold for so long, it’s also been useful in helping me try and regain something vaguely resembling a decent state of fitness!”
Kate Dunn-Massey (Os 10-17) has also been out and about contributing to the School Challenge mileage. She told us, “Sport has always played a huge part in my life and I have always been grateful to King’s for the many opportunities I have had. I was keen to participate in the challenge as I have found running to really benefit my own mental health and so was eager to help raise money for such a worthy and important cause.”
Cerys Preston (Cr 12-19), who has been busy working in hospital in Birmingham has also taken the opportunity to get involved and she said, “I’ve been so happy for my running miles this week to contribute to the Kings Around the World challenge set by the Sports department. As a physio student on the frontline on a red ward, exercise has been vital for maintaining my fitness for hockey and more importantly at the moment, my mental health. Being part of the challenge has made me feel part of a team again and I’ve loved seeing how everyone has been getting on!”
Martin Smith (K 87-94) is both a parent and an OV and his children encouraged him to get involved with this super activity. He told us, “One of the great things King’s does is to engage the entire King’s community, whether current pupils, parents, teachers or OVs. The Around the World challenge is a prime example of this unity. It has been superb to see fellow parents and OVs contribute to the goal alongside pupils and raise money for an important cause at such a prominent time. On a personal level, it’s nice to use my bike for what is meant for as opposed to a cobweb collector.”
Strava has been an excellent way for all the members of the School community to share their exercise and Mark Meyrick (H/Cr 69-74) was one of those OVs who loaded his runs this week to the total via Strava.
Josh Hand (Cl 91-01) also managed to find some time during his busy role as King’s Maths teacher and Head of Sixth form, to support this challenge and he told us, ““It has been amazing to see pupils, parents, staff and OVs get involved in the Around the World challenge. Whilst we are currently unable to take part in charity cycle rides, parkruns or triathlons, this has been a brilliant way of getting out in nature and continuing to build the King’s community through activity. We even had a personalised message from Mark Beaumont, two-time world record holder for the fastest cycle – high praise indeed!”
Tegan Parsons (Ch 08-13) also enjoyed taking part in this virtual event and said, “It’s been great to get involved with King’s. Since leaving in 2013 I haven’t managed to get involved with many events so participating virtually has been great. It’s been great to see so many OVs getting involved especially during the current pandemic – it’s such a great incentive to get people out and about not only for their mental health but to raise money for those in need!”
Our thanks go to the following OVs who all contributed towards the success of this challenge, especially the 2013 OVs who came out in full force and even in the USA, where Immie Gillgrass is current at university on a sports scholarship!
(Apologies if your name has been excluded from this list)
Mark Meyrick (H/Cr 69-74)
Martin Smith (K 87-94)
Josh Hand (Cl 91-01)
Hayley Simmonds (Cr 99-06)
Anthony Lock (W 05-11)
Ben Alexander (Ch 06-13)
Becky Brunt (Br 06-13)
Tess Titmuss (Ch 06-13)
George Fairlie (W 06-13)
Tegan Parsons (Ch 08-13)
Sasha McNeily (Ch 09-13)
Pippa Leith (Cl 09-13)
Niels Emmerson (Os 06-13)
George Jeavons-Fellows (Ch 06-13)
Georgie Ormandy (Ch 06-13)
Daisy Nichols (K (08-16)
Kate Dunn-Massey (Os 10-17)
James Smalley (Br 10-17)
Matthew Green (Br 16-18)
Will Gorner (K 12-19)
Cerys Preston (Cr 12-19)
Immie Gillgrass (W 13-20)
The Mental Health Foundation
Our vision is for a world with good mental health for all. Our mission is to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health. Prevention is at the heart of what we do, because the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening in the first place.