GCU Fencing society compete in Ben Nevis challenge to raise funds for Refuweegee

Thu, 06 Aug 2020 17:19:00 BST
GCU's Fencing Society were used to meeting up often to socialise outside of training
GCU's Fencing Society were used to meeting up often to socialise outside of training

A group of GCU Students are set to take part in a competition to walk, run or cycle as far as possible to raise money for a Glasgow-based charity.

The GCU Students’ Association Fencing Society was approached by the University of Glasgow and Strathclyde University to take part in a friendly competition to raise money for the Refuweegee – a charity which offers support to forcibly displaced people arriving in Glasgow.

The aim of the fundraiser is for each member of the all three university fencing societies to walk, run or cycle the equivalent of the path up Ben Nevis– the winners will be the team who complete the highest percentage of their target distance.

Just three days into the competition, the GCU Fencing society have achieved over and above their target distance of 80.5km, already racking up 93.51km between them.

Society President Leona Maxwell was blown away with the team’s efforts in the first few days of the competition.

She said: “It took me by surprise how much GCU did in just a couple of days.

One of the girls did a 17km walk on the first day!”

Leona also discussed how the competition has brought some momentum back to the team as they’ve been unable to train during lockdown.

She said: “It’s given the team something to focus on, we were all a little bit lost because our sport is so contact-based so we haven’t been able to get together to practise at all”

Optometry student and society member Sophie also discussed how great this opportunity has been for individual members to reunify whilst still at home.

She said: “This challenge has allowed the club to reconnect and work together towards a common goal no matter where we happened to be locked down - as well as building our relations with the other universities.”

It was decided that Refuweegee would be an appropriate charity to raise money for as it’s Glasgow based and due to recent saddening events in the city centre, Leona explained how this organisation was at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

She said: “During the time we were choosing a charity, refugees in Glasgow had been in the news due to the upsetting event which took place in a hotel in the city centre where people lost their lives.

They’re a really small company and they’re struggling to get donations at the moment due to covid so we thought it would be a great cause to work for.”

As well as this admirable work to raise money for charity, the competition has helped students who are struggling to feel connected again with their university society.

Biosciences student and society member Ryan said: “My time in lockdown has been made especially difficult as a result of being separated by travel restrictions from my home, friends and family.

The opportunity to have a friendly fundraising competition I can take part in has given me something to do and focus on through this difficult time and I’m really proud of myself and the club for the effort we've put into raising funds for those in need.

The team have got until Tuesday, August 11th to complete as many kilometres as they can between them, in the hope of being crowned the winners of the ‘Race Up Ben Nevis’ challenge.

The team have already raised £120 and you can help them reach their target of £300 here.


By Rebecca Meechan
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