By Simon Ashton, Senior Tutor

In April, we started a 21 Push Up Challenge for the NHS and Nacro keyworkers, which became more successful than we could have guessed.

We started it to encourage learners and staff to participate in some physical activity during the lockdown and to show our appreciation to the NHS and Nacro keyworkers. The Challenge was for someone to do a video of themselves doing 21 push ups and upload it onto social media, and then nominate another learner or staff member. Not only dd we get 21 people to complete the Challenge over 21 days, but also professional athletes got involved alongside our staff and learners.

This came about when I nominated a learner and a local, Ryan Richardson, a Royal Marine who is raising money for the NHS. I wanted to help raise the profile of our Push Up Challenge but also to help promote his Just Giving page. At first, he had planned to raise £500 but by the time we got involved he had already raised just over £19000.

Professional athletes then joined in: Light-Heavyweight Professional Boxer and former Commonwealth Gold medallist, Callum Johnson and World Champion Pure Elite Body Builder, Josh Blue. Olympic Gold Medallist and current World record holder, Adam Peaty, endorsed the Challenge by sharing an Instagram Story about it.

Both Callum Johnson and Josh Blue have said that they will come into the centre once learners return after lockdown as guest speakers and will even train with some of the learners! With these athletes getting involved in our Challenge, our learners have been really motivated too. One of our L3 Personal Training learners, Chaynee Hewitt, has even started her own Instagram fitness page which Josh Blue is promoting!

I never expected our Centre’s Challenge to have the impact in the local community that it has done. Three weeks on, Boston people continue to do the Challenge and contribute to Ryan’s Just Giving page.