Oaklands Wolves complete Around the World Challenge

Oaklands students running and on bikes

Oaklands Wolves virtually circumnavigated the globe to beat the lockdown blues - Credit: Oaklands College

When you hear the phrase 'around the world', what do you think of? Holidays abroad? A football trick? The Daft Punk chart topper?

Others, like Oaklands Wolves Sports Academy, think of the 19th century adventure novel Around the World in 80 Days by French author Jules Verne.

Inspired by the travels of Phileas Fogg, students and staff were challenged to take on the 'Around the World Challenge' - where you walk, run, cycle or swim a combined distance of 40,075 kilometres (24,901 miles).

An Oaklands student running as part of the Around the World Challenge

An Oaklands hockey student running as part of the Around the World Challenge - Credit: Oaklands College

The aim of the colossal challenge was to motivate students and staff to keep active and improve their fitness during the third lockdown.

Starting on January 6, students from the rugby, hockey, football, basketball, netball, athletics and cycling academies, as well as fellow Oaklands students and staff members, embarked on the monumental challenge, with participants needing to hit a target of 742 kilometres (or 461 miles) each day for 54 days to reach their goal.


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Giving them just under eight weeks from start to finish, competitors pounded their local pavements in a bid to wrack up the distance. Some managed to even take part without leaving the comfort of their own homes!

Head of hockey Simon Archer hopped on his bike for the Around the World Challenge

Head of hockey Simon Archer hopped on his bike for the Around the World Challenge - Credit: Oaklands College

With coronavirus restrictions halting travel to the far-off lands ventured by Phileas Fogg, students virtually travelled the famous route, setting out from London and taking in the picturesque sites and landmarks along the way.

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The journey took students on a voyage of virtual cultures, learning about a variety of European countries before embarking on a course through Asia, the Americas and Africa - sometimes without even leaving the comfort of their own homes.

The team of adventurers from Oaklands completed the worldwide challenge on Feb 24, a week ahead of schedule.

Joy Porter, head of netball at Oaklands College, said: “It has been just brilliant to see so many students and staff members taking part in the challenge.

"Following on from the Wolfpack Lockdown Challenge last year, we really wanted to get students and staff re-engaged and thinking about their fitness, I couldn’t be prouder of all those who took part!”

Central Park, NYC

The Around the World Challenge took Oaklands' globetrotters on adventures to Italy, India, Hong Kong, Japan and the USA, to name a few - Credit: Stock/Supplied

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