King’s Ely holds 24-hour rowing marathon

Money raised by King’s Ely students will go to charity and also help buy a new quad for the girls’ rowing programme

King's Ely Ergothon

Rowers at King’s Ely had their fitness and stamina tested to a whole new level – all in the name of charity.

The school held a taxing 24-hour “Ergothon” to raise money for Tearfund’s relief efforts following the Turkey-Syria Earthquake, and to contribute to a new coxless quad for the girls’ rowing programme at King’s Ely boat club.

The challenge was organised by captain of girls’ boats, Mollie Chamberlain, captain of boys’ boats, Aron O’Connor, head of rowing, Craig Ward and other members of the school boat club community.

At first, it was thought that a few intrepid students and staff rowers would sign up for the event, but more than 80 pupils, family members, staff members, and friends of King’s Ely ended up participating.

As a result, two rowing machines were in constant use in the school’s Old Palace Gymnasium from 5.30pm on Friday, March 24 through to 5.30pm on Saturday, March 25.

Participants covered 620,000 metres and have, to date, raised £3,045.

Mr Ward said: “This was a fantastic event, which highlights the power that the boat club and King’s Ely as a school have in bringing people together for a great cause and overcoming barriers to succeed.

“Music was a key motivator during the challenge, as was the support of everyone involved, whether taking part or cheering on. A large turnout in the last hour saw the event almost transform into a sprint relay.

“As the end drew near, spirits rose even higher, and the prospect of a good night’s sleep became a reality. Our captains of boats, Mollie and Aron, hopped on for the final two minutes after being present for the full 24 hours, and finished the event to rapturous applause. As the clock hit 5.30pm, the challenge was complete – 620,000 metres rowed, and a lot of persistence shown.”

Mollie and Aron said: “We would like to thank everyone who took part, as well as everyone who supported us behind the scenes. We are immensely grateful for all the donations and how generous people have been. This was a tough challenge for everyone who took part, but it was worth it.”

Hayley Mortimer, deputy head co-curriculum at King’s Ely, added: “The teamwork, support and motivation that was demonstrated by all was so inspiring to witness. As a school, we encourage pupils to showcase their leadership abilities, and both Mollie and Aron are excellent role models to all. A superb event supporting two excellent causes”

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