Skip to main content

Colleges go around the world three times in virtual 30-day challenge 

17 December 2020

Colleges spectacularly smashed the target for AoC Sport’s Around the World in 30 Days Challenge, aimed at keeping staff and students active during the second lockdown. The challenge was for colleges to collectively walk, run and cycle the equivalent of one lap around the world (46,975 miles) visiting various countries along the way over four weeks. Colleges rose to the challenge in fine style, completing the initial target in just 11 days and reaching an impressive 154,310 miles after 30 days. Sixty-four colleges, including four Natspec colleges, took part in the challenge, recording their walks, runs and bike rides on the Strava app to support the collective total distance. Out of the total distance 66,638 miles were covered on foot and 87,672 miles were covered by bike. The challenge saw a weekly average engagement of over 1,000 runners/ walkers and over 400 cyclists, which all contributed to 21,944 activities in total over the last month. A national college leaderboard highlighted each individual college’s effort towards the total. Natspec member National Star College finished ninth overall, contributing 4,109 miles to the total distance. Julian Ralph, Foundation Programmes and Enrichment Coordinator, said the college fully embraced the challenge. 'Students loved seeing the progress of the college using maps to see destinations we had reached. For some students the need to be outside for their sensory needs meant they contributed to the college total whilst exploring our beautiful campus. Students and staff really inspired each other to be part of the 30-day challenge and this will hopefully start off more challenges like this in the future.'


Congratulations to the top three colleges who contributed the most to the national total and will be receiving prizes.
  1. Hills Road Sixth Form College - 17,452 miles covered and 1,749 activities completed
  1. SGS College - 17,203 miles covered and 987 activities completed
  1. Peter Symonds College - 11,113 miles covered and 2020 activities completed
The full leaderboard can be found HERE. Ayden Duffy, Head of Sport at Hills Road Sixth Form College, said: ‘Hills Road are extremely proud to come first in this national event. The challenge has provided all our students with the opportunity to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing during the national lockdown. Thank you AoC Sport for organising the event!’ Alex Gaiger, Head of Faculty- Sport and Enrichment at SGS College said: 'The Around the World in 30 days Challenge brought a community of staff and learners together to achieve a goal. SGS College is based in Bristol and has been placed in tier 3. As a result, the challenge helped create a focus which encouraged learners to get out and complete physical activity to add to the college total distance. I personally have witnessed learners motivating one another to cycle more miles each day and develop a positive mind set during what we know to be a challenging time. Some of our learners have pushed themselves to the very limit, cycling 250 miles a week. We hope to take part in future AoC Sport physical activity challenges and we are keen to come back stronger than ever promoting the power of being an active college.' Any college that completed 200 or more activities within the 30-day period was also entered into a random prize draw. The winners are:
  • Blackburn College
  • East Durham College
  • Weymouth College
All winners will be receiving a Polar M430 GPS Running Watch, as thanks from our competition partners Polar UK.

Special mentions

AoC Sport would like to highlight the following colleges for an outstanding contribution and effort:
  • Wiltshire College – for averaging an impressive 17.1 miles each time they completed an activity
  • Wakefield College – for achieving a higher-than-average 11.7 miles per activity
  • Hartpury College – for engaging 98 participants in one week
  • Walsall College - for engaging 81 participants in one week