The £10k Challenge gets going

Pink coloured graphic with clouds, a running track, Hazlerigg, and a runner, as well as the university logo

More than 170 alumni, staff, students, and friends of the University are setting off on a range of exercise and other challenges over the next ten days.

Participants have each chosen a level of The £10k Challenge that suits them, whether this be to push themselves physically, or to do something weird and wonderful with a group of friends.

The challenge will fundraise to support mental health initiatives at the University and the three main levels are a 10k run, doing 10,000 steps a day every day, or running 10 minutes every day. Some participants have opted for a “wildcard” challenge.

Several alumni are completing 100k over ten days, be this on foot, bike, or even rowing; a group of Telford Hall alumni are committing to eating (drinking?) ten pints of custard every day for ten days, and some are doing workouts and martial arts activities.

One wildcard participant is alumnus Sam Bassett, who has signed up to do ten marathons in ten days. Sam said:

I aim to run a marathon each day for the 10-day period. I was fortunate to receive excellent support from the mental health initiatives at Loughborough whilst I was a student. I took up running whilst at university which had an extremely positive impact on my mental health.

Leading the challenge, Alumni Advisory Board member Alex Laybourne has encouraged a huge group of Falkner Eggington Hall alumni to sign up. With more than 30 Falk Egg participants, the group have already raised over £3,000, and have set a team target of £5,000. The “Falk Egg Old Boys” have worked together previously on charity initiatives, including fundraising for the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic, and selling Falk Egg hats, with proceeds going to mental health charities.

Alumnus Neil Gibbons is taking on the challenge in memory of his wife, who he met at Loughborough. Carrie and Neil were married for more than 40 years, and Neil wanted to take on the challenge as a fitting tribute to Carrie. Neil has already raised over £300.

Many staff members have opted for wildcards. Marketing Coordinator, Rachel Cassell, is taking to the streets in her local area to pick litter. Dr Diganta Das, a member of staff in Chemical Engineering, is playing the classical tabla, an Indian percussion instrument, for an hour every day.

Professor Steve Rothberg, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, will run with his fellow Pro Vice-Chancellors in a 100k relay over the ten-day period. Championing the challenge, Professor Rothberg said:

Our own excellent Loughborough research tells us how important exercise is for good mental health and wellbeing and that’s never been more important now than it is now in the pandemic. So what better way could there be for Loughborough to fundraise for student mental health support than through an exercise challenge?

With over 170 participants getting involved, we can’t name everyone, but you can head to Just Giving to see who is taking part. We have:

  • 91 alumni
  • 23 students
  • 47 staff
  • 14 friends of the University

What level of challenge are they doing?

  • 37 people are doing a 10k
  • 28 people are running or walking 10,000 steps a day
  • 22 will run 10 minutes a day
  • 88 people are taking on a wildcard challenge

Tracking their challenges using the popular running and cycling app, Strava, participants and donors will be able to follow the progress of the challenge via its integration with Just Giving.

Funds raised will go to the Mental Health Appeal, launched in 2020 to raise money to support the services on offer to students at Loughborough during these difficult times. Participants have already been fundraising, and over £8,000 has been raised through the challenge so far.

If you would like to find out more, track the participants, or donate, check out the Just Giving page.

We wish them the best of luck.