CEO Ali Oliver takes part in Aspire Connect Fundraising Challenge

Circumnavigating the whole of Cornwall, this epic fundraising challenge connects all the Aspire academies through walking, running, cycling, rowing, horse riding or swimming!

Youth Sport Trust CEO Ali Oliver and members of the Trust team are taking part in the The Aspire Connect 40 Relay Challenge taking place in Cornwall from 6th to 15th March 2024. The challenge will be raising money for the Youth Sport Trust and Comic Relief Red Nose Day.

Circumnavigating the whole of Cornwall, 36 Aspire academies, two outdoor education centres (Carlyon Bay and Carnyorth) and two central core service buildings (Truro and St Austell) will be connected via a non-competitive relay route with adult participants using only physical activity as the mode of travel. Whether it's walking, running, cycling, rowing, horse riding or swimming, physical exertion is key and anything involving an engine is strictly off limits!

The Aspire Connect 40 Relay Challenge route will start at Bude Primary Academy on Wednesday 6th March and finish at Tregolls Academy, Truro on Comic Relief Red Nose Day - Friday 15th March, taking in the Clays, the Lizard and the far reaches of the west along the way. Each relay stage has been carefully planned to connect one school, or Aspire setting, to another and depending on topography and distance, some will involve stages being covered by pairs or groups, rather than an individual.

Following her epic Land's End to John O'Groats ride a few years ago, Ali will be taking to her bike again on Monday 11th March, cycling from Biscovery Nursery and Infants Academy to Probus Primary School, near Truro. Speaking at the start of her stage, Ali said:

“I’m really excited to be taking part in the Aspire Connect 40 Relay Challenge today and making my way through the beautiful Cornish countryside where I grew up. Having seen some of the pictures from the first few days, the support looks amazing and I’m looking forward to visiting schools along the route and meeting the students and staff along the way.

I want to pay tribute to the Aspire Academy Trust for its amazing commitment to children's health and wellbeing and their support of the mission of the Youth Sport Trust. I would also like to say a big thank you to the organisers and everyone who has donated, all the money raised will help us build brighter futures for children and young people through play and sport.”

Students waving Ali and Tim Hooper, COO of the Aspire Academy Trust off at the start of their leg.

Development Manager for the South West Chris Caws took part on day two of the challenge with Paralympian and Youth Sport Trust athlete mentor David Hill getting involved on the 12th March, alongside delivering inspiring assemblies to two schools.

As each Aspire setting connects with another, a special baton containing a live tracker will be officially handed over to the next active participant which you can track here.

Charity donations can be made via the multi-charity fundraising partner, GiveWheel, which as Ali sets off stands at an amazing £860 already. One donation will be split equitably between the two nominated charities, Comic Relief Red Nose Day and Youth Sport Trust.

Everyone at the Youth Sport Trust would like to say a huge thank you to the team at the Aspire trust for completing this incredible challenge. 

Published on 11 March 2024