An Aberdeen based sports club has officially covered the distance from Aberdeen to Tokyo, in order to raise team morale and support frontline workers.
The Granite City Wanderers Hockey Club took on the ambitious challenge, which seen them clock up 9,093km – virtually travelling from Aberdeen to Tokyo, where the summer Olympics were due to be held.
A total of 54 members decided to take part in the unique project so they could stay connected with one another when the pandemic hit.
However, they soon realised they could benefit frontline workers in the process.
Their Going the Distance challenge harnessed support from individuals of all ages and all abilities, across the clubs eight individual teams.
Comprised of five women’s teams and three men’s teams, each participant walked, ran and cycled towards their goal, which they met in just under four weeks.
Team player, Lisa Clyne, 30, says they reached their goal on Tuesday.
And so far, they have raised over £700 of their £1,500 financial target, with all money going towards the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund.
She said: “It was myself and one of the boy’s Elliot that put our heads together and decided to organise this.
“Since the Summer Olympics were cancelled in Tokyo, we thought we would go for the Tokyo Olympics.
“We started on May 4 so our target was to finish by June 4.
“I am so proud of everyone and what we have achieved together.
“It’s been amazing watching everyone’s miles coming in and how everyone has encouraged each other just like we’d do on the pitch! ”
Initially, their first target was to virtually cover just 4,580km, the distance that their Men’s 1st team and Woman’s 1st team would travel to away matches in a season.
This includes numerous national trips to Edinburgh, Dundee and Inverness.
And when the club collectively smashed their target in under two weeks, they decided to aim for the Olympics.
To do this, the club usually completed over 200km a day, however Lisa says they tended to cover even more distance on the weekends.
She said: “People are able to get out on their bikes and we tracked it on our club Strava account. But if they didn’t have this, then they sent their miles to me and I’ve got a spreadsheet where I worked it all out.”
“Everybody’s encouraging and it’s really nice to see people get involved and at the same time raising money for the NHS is amazing too.
“We have a few people in the club that work for the NHS so it was good to recognise them as well.”
The Countesswells woman has been an active member of the club since she was 9 years old, and she says the virtual challenge was the perfect way to stay busy, do some good during the pandemic and stay in touch with loved ones.
She said: “You don’t realise how far you’re going.
“Some people just go out for a kilometre or two and others are going out for an 80km bike ride. Every little helps.”
“It’s a very family-feel club. Everyone looks after each other and it’s not just a sport that we play, it’s also being with our friends and it’s a very caring club.”
And while their challenge is at an end, she says the club will continue to support its players until they are reunited once again.
She said: “This is the end of this particular challenge and at the moment we don’t have any others set.
“However I know we will still all encourage each other to keep motivated and fit until we can get back on the pitch.”
To donate to the Granite City Wanderers, visit https://bit.ly/3eE1DxW