Royal Latin School in Buckingham running the world...virtually
The students at the Royal Latin School in Buckingham may not be able to see each other physically at the moment, but this month they have started working together (virtually) to Run around the World.
The challenge to run 40,000 km collectively has been set to them by the school as a way to bring the school together virtually, to keep everyone fit and healthy, to give them something positive to achieve together, and as a way to raise valuable funds for the sports campus that the school is in the middle of fundraising for.
The students, their families, staff and alumni are all joining forces to take part, and since "leaving Buckingham" on launch day on May 15, they have run through Paris and Rome, Northern Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia, China and Japan, across the Pacific and are now entering the Americas for their last leg before crossing the Atlantic and heading home.
Each time the team reaches a major destination milestone, the school updates a 'World Progress Map' and adds "educational nuggets" to their website for the students to get a feel for the countries they are virtually running through which also link to their studies.
It has also been a great way for those that are missing out on school trips to get a glimpse of some of the countries they would have been experiencing first-hand in normal circumstances.
David Hudson, headteacher at the Royal Latin School, has been overwhelmed by how many have been signing up, and seeing and hearing about so many of the school-community taking part.
"Sport at the Royal Latin is something we are heavily investing in through our fundraising project - the 600 Campaign - so this seems the perfect challenge to set to our students whilst we can't be in school," Mr Hudson said.
"The mental health benefits of exercise are well-proven and so this project has really helped to emphasize what all young people and their families can do. We hope that, by the time students return to the school site in the next academic year, we have the first phase of our Sports Campus - the all-weather pitch - ready for them.
"We are also still fundraising to be able to also complete the campus with our Sports Performance Centre, so the fundraising element of the challenge is also really encouraging. I've heard that even RLS Alumni in Florida are taking part so it really is something that has captured everyone's imaginations."
More and more participants are joining the challenge each day, with an aim to complete the full 40,000km by the middle of June. Some have chosen to raise sponsorship for playing their part in the Challenge, or to make a voluntary donation of whatever they can afford.
Louise Amodio, fundraising and events manager at the Royal Latin School said: "We recognise that this is a difficult for some families to be able to support the school with fundraising, so we wanted to make the challenge both fun and ambitious, but also accessible to everyone by having no minimum amount to take part, and to raise sponsorship or donate as they can.
"Everyone's enthusiasm and generosity already has been amazing and paints a great picture to our major supporters, corporate sponsors and charitable trusts as to how much passion and drive the school community has behind the Sports Campus campaign.
"The benefits our students have been getting by being outside and active has really cemented for us how important it is that we provide more opportunities to take part in sports in school. It's been really encouraging."
For more information, visit https://www.royallatin.org/600-events/rls-runs-the-world-challenge/To support the fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/RLSRUNSTHEWORLD