University going for Gold
Released: Thursday 3rd May 2012 at 15:05
As part of Universities Week 2012, the University of Sunderland have officially launched their Gold Challenge for Students and Staff.
(Below: Members of the University of Sunderland Institute of Sport Board are joined by 'Percy the Puma' and Athletics Club President Chris Dunn to officially launch the Gold Challenge.) Pictured from left to right, Sue Masters - Chief Executive of the Students Union, Ivan Whitfield - Director Of Sport, Maggie Stephenson - Associate Dean, Faculty of Education and Society, Professor Julie Mennell - Deputy Vice Chancellor, Dean Fraser - Sport & Activities Officer 2011/12, Chris Dunn, Christopher Marshall - Head of Department, Business School, and Percy the Puma.
Gold Challenge is the official UK Olympic charity which, so far, as seen over 85,000 people take on an Olympic & Paralympic sport themed challenge to raise money for charity.
In Partnership with Gold Challenge, the British Olympic Association and Team GB, the University of Sunderland are looking to increase participation in sport through this unique and engaging way of being part of the London 2012 legacy.
The University of Sunderland Gold Challenge is open to all current students, staff, friends, families, community partnerships, alumni and any other association with the University.
Ivan Whitfield, Director of Sport, said: “I am extremely excited the University of Sunderland is taking part in the Gold Challenge and therefore is directly linked with British Olympic Association, Team GB and the Olympic legacy.
“It is a great vehicle for getting all University staff and students, friends and families, involved in physical activity and all the while raising money for a good cause.
“The University has worked very closely with LOCOG to attract the Granada National Olympic Team to the University, and Sunderland, for a pre-Olympic Games training camp.
“This visit, along with the University’s involvement in the Gold Challenge and other Olympic planned activities for later on in the year, will leave students, staff and partners feeling fully engaged in 2012 and leave a legacy for future years.
There are two simple ways to get involved – if you’ve got what it takes to complete 2012km, 201.2km or 20.12km on your own then you can participate as an individual by completing the distances in one or more of the following activities: Running, Swimming, Cycling, Walking, Rowing, Canoeing, Sailing, Windsurfing and Horse Riding.
Or, you can join forces with your fellow students, colleagues or friends in a Team Challenge. In groups of 2-5 people, complete a combined total of 2012km, 201.2km, or 20.12km in one or more of the following activities: Running, Swimming, Cycling, Walking, Rowing, Canoeing, Sailing, Windsurfing and Horse Riding.
The great thing about the Gold Challenge is that it can be completed in your own time and you simply keep track of your totals by keeping an online log in the University’s totalizer and league tables.
Matt Dossett, Sport Development Manager for the Institute of Sport service at the University of Sunderland, said:
“The Gold Challenge is a fantastic initiative and something we are all eager to promote within our service and across the University as a whole.
“In this special sporting year, we have been actively developing our own programs, internally and externally, and the Gold Challenge ticks all the boxes in terms of the core goals of the Institute, which is participation and opportunities.
“The Gold Challenge, with its origins firmly entrenched in creating an Olympic legacy, offers a an exciting opportunity for all students, staff, and affiliates with the University to become involved with this legacy and participate in sport.”
Katie Legg, Gold Challenge Educations Partnership Manager, says this is perfect way for University’s to engage with the official Olympic legacy. She said: “Gold Challenge is the charity challenge where you take on Olympic Sports and Paralympic Sports to raise money for charity.
“The 2012km Challenge is great for teams and individuals who really want to push themselves to do something great for a charity of their choice. The objective is simple; cover a distance of 2012km by running, walking, cycling, swimming, canoeing, horse riding, rowing, sailing and windsurfing, raising money at the same time.
“Over 85,000 people are already taking part an it’s a great way for a university to engage it’s students with the official legacy for London 2012 and increase participation in sport.”
The University’s chosen charity partner is COCO – Comrades of Children Overseas. The Charity was founded by University Chancellor Steve Cram in 2000 and aims to improve the lives of children living in poverty in the developing world through the provision of health and education initiatives.
Laura Elliott, Fundraising Manager for COCO, said: “We are really excited that the University of Sunderland are raising money for COCO through this great challenge.
“The fundraising will have a direct impact on what we do.
“It could be building a water tank, or an income generation scheme. What’s important is that our work is sustainable and by donating to us you can help make it permanent.
“I hope that all those taking part have fun. It’s for a serious cause but ultimately COCO are all about having fun.
Dean Fraser, Sports & Activities Officer at the University, hope students and staff will get behind the challenge and believes some people will want to be more competitive than others. He said: “It’s great the University is getting involved with the Gold Challenge.
“It is very much allowing Sunderland, and the wider region, to become involved with London and the Games. There is a slight perception these Games are solely London based but that’s not correct – it’s for the whole of the UK and this is perfect for Sunderland, the University and its people, to embrace 2012 and feel part of the Games.
“The challenge sits perfectly with the University Sport and awareness of what we do here.
“ I recommend all students, staff, and University affiliates push themselves to be involved in this Gold Challenge.
“It will be great fun but the prospect of a competitive element is there for everyone and it will be interesting to see whose in it to win it. “
The University of Sunderland’s Gold Challenge has deliberately been launched during Universities Week 2012 (30 April–7 May).
Universities Week aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities. It is the third annual national campaign of its kind and this year will incorporate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as its theme.
Registering for the Gold Challenge is easy: Simply log on for free online at http://www.goldchallenge.org/universityofsunderland
Select your Challenge, the distance, select a charity and you’re off!
There are plenty of other ways to get involved with the Gold Challenge without the sport.
The University is looking for volunteers in Events, Promotions and Gold Challenge Ambassadors.
For more information on these specific roles register online at www.uossportcareeracademy.com