Bolton School Junior Boys

Virtual Fun Run Around the World

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The annual Junior Boys’ Fun Run is normally a fun and colourful highlight to the summer term. Although the usual plan was derailed in 2020 by the Covid-19 lockdown, the school refused to give up on raising thousands of pounds for charity.

The Fun Run went virtual with the aim of following in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg and collecting enough kilometres to circumnavigate the world in 8 school days!

Boys and their families were encouraged to clock up miles each day by running, walking and cycling in their local area. Fogg’s route via Cairo, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hong Kong, Tokyo, San Francisco and New York before returning to Bolton gave the school a total of 29,825 kilometres, or an ambitious 135km per child. Virtual sports lessons and the afternoon of 22 May, the day that the Fun Run would have been held, were devoted to the cause.

Daily posts on Twitter kept everyone up to date on how far they had collectively ‘travelled’ and shared updates from the boys’ walks, runs and bike rides to keep everyone excited and invested in the challenge. On the day of the Fun Run itself, everyone dressed up to represent a country and completed their exercise in costume, with photos shared on social media. Laps around the garden, sessions on the exercise bike, some long family workouts and contributions of kilometres from staff across the Bolton School foundation further boosted the total distance travelled.

Throughout the eight days of the challenge and over half term, donations poured in via JustGiving to support this year’s chosen charity: Bolton Hospice.

Mrs Faulkner, the Junior Boys’ headteacher, said, ‘We were of course disappointed not to be able to hold our usual charity fun run as it is an enjoyable event and one which raises a lot of money for good causes. We didn’t quite get all the way ’round the world in our virtual fun run but we did manage to raise just over £2,500 for local charity Bolton Hospice.

‘We wanted to raise money for this local cause as we are aware that many smaller charities will not reach their fundraising targets this year as a result of Covid-19. The response from our boys and families was quite overwhelming.’

Bolton Hospice sent the following message: ‘We are enormously grateful to everyone at Bolton School Junior Boys for your continued support at this very difficult time – thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

‘Without the support of people like you we wouldn’t be here to care for those most in need, your support means the world to us.’

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