Young people from Harrogate District Swimming Club made the most of lockdown by ‘travelling’ from Harrogate to the Tokyo Olympics to support Saint Michael’s Hospice.

19 members of Harrogate District Swimming Club, all aged between 10-16 years old, as well as their siblings, parents and coaches managed to cover the distance from Harrogate to Tokyo by running, walking, skipping and cycling.

As well as clocking up more than 9,300 kilometres, the team were able to raise over £2,500 for Saint Michael’s Hospice in just 6 weeks during the second national lockdown.

Youngsters at Harrogate District Swimming Club collectively clocked up over 9,300 kilometres of running, cycling, walking and skipping

HDSC co-organisers Ali Orr and Claire Charlton were driven to kick-start the challenge after a recent loss in the swim family. Ali said:

“We know first-hand the care offered by Saint Michael’s – recently helping one of our swim coaches, as well as supporting our wider swimming family over the years, so we wanted to do something to support the charity.

“Whilst we hoped to kick-start a sponsored swim-based activity, Lockdown 2.0 and immediate closure of leisure facilities meant we had to have a rethink. This ‘land-based’ challenge not only raised vital funds but also helped keep our club community spirit going during lockdown – and kept our swim fitness up!

“We smashed our original target of £500 and everyone got really behind our epic challenge. We had prizes for individual fundraisers, and people showing extra determination and initiative. We are so proud of our swim family for what they achieved – it’s a great club and community.”

The 9,300 kilometres clocked up by members is equal to the distance from Harrogate to Tokyo!

Saint Michael’s expressed their gratitude and congratulated the club for completing the challenge. A spokesperson said:

“Saint Michael’s are so grateful to all who took part and donated, and the funds raised will make a huge difference to our vital work, supporting local people living with terminal illness and bereavement. Thank you!”

The JustGiving page is still live here for those who wish to donate.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.