We hit the road to meet Aaron Knight from Yeovil, to find out about the lads’ exploits in the 2023 Diabetes UK 1 Million Step Challenge.
What was your inspiration for this challenge?
Our inspiration firstly was due to the Diabetes 1 Million Steps challenge, but also as one of our members young sons is diabetic and always attends our session with his dad to help out as a ball boy.
We’ve also had members reverse diabetes not so long ago and felt this charity deserved our full attention to raise as much as we could during the Million Steps Challenge.
What went into organising the event?
I had been thinking about a walking event as a club for a while so this gave me the perfect reason to do it. Organising it was at times stressful and keeping on top of all of our efforts, the car boots, coffee morning and then contacting over 100 businesses asking for raffle prizes along with organising meeting points for our walk, working full time and training for Brighton Marathon at the time certainly wasn’t easy!
But the reward has been worth it. Every second, minute and hour I spent on this will always be worth it!
How did the community get involved?
I already knew we had a great community within our club, and I get on very well with everyone so using the captains from each team to push messages out as well as our official WhatsApp group and in person at our sessions, really helped me to engage as many people as I could.
What were the hurdles along the way?
The only issues were mainly around organising raffle prizes and then the walk. The heat peaked on the day of our walk which required me to make changes to our stop points and refresh stations 24 hours before the big day. Luckily our support team who met us at each stop were incredible and helped us along the way!
How much did you raise?
In total we raised £6,260 and finished as the highest fundraising team within the whole of the UK!
What’s the next fundraising adventure?
Our fundraising never ends in Yeovil. We have also collected for the homeless and the generosity of the lads has once again been immense.
We received stacks of clothes and food that I delivered to the lead charity worker. We also regularly collect for the Yeovil food bank and plan to hold some other events in the early new year, and at the weekend just gone we had an internal 11’s match between ourselves and a few Weymouth players and helped raise £200 towards the new Dorchester Hospital Children’s Ward (more to come for this one between Yeovil & Weymouth!)