Withy King’s Summer of Sport
Starting with the Bath Walk for Life on 17 May in aid of the Forever Friends Appeal, our team and Sam the dog braved the heat to walk 21 miles along the Kennet and Avon Canal Bath to Devizes which took nearly six hours. In the blazing May heat this was a much tougher challenge than the group had imagined. The finish line was in the beautiful Sydney Gardens and the group had a great welcome from the Forever Friends Appeal team and a well-earned cold cider. Withy King walkers were also awarded a framed certificate for having the most members of a team complete the full 21 miles.
What was undoubtedly the highlight of our Summer of Sport was the national Three Peaks Challenge on 12 – 13 June. Everyone survived, but not without a lot of pain and some impressive injuries along the way!
Peak one saw the teams navigating their way through snowfields and thick fog to reach the top of Ben Nevis, the biggest of the three peaks at 1,344 metres. After virtually no sleep, the teams travelled 250 miles to Wasdale Head in Cumbria to start the climb of Scafell Pike (peak two) at 3.30am in pitch black. By the time the teams arrived at Pen-y-Pass to begin Snowdon, the final peak, the weather had improved significantly – meaning they had to climb Wales’s highest mountain in 24°C heat!
The first team to complete the challenge did so in 22hrs 6 minutes, scaling Ben Nevis in an impressive 4h 11mins, Scafell Pike in 3h 3mins and Snowdon in 3h 16mins. The next team to finish beat the 24 hour target by running the final leg of the descent.
Chris Kane partner and head of the Charities Committee, said: “It was a tremendous team effort and a great experience for everyone involved. A lack of sleep, physical and mental exhaustion and several minor injuries provided plenty of challenges along the way, but I am immensely proud of the way everyone pulled together and got through it. We are delighted to have raised so much and grateful to the firm for covering our costs and making it possible.”
The Three Peaks Challenge was swiftly followed by Bike Bath on 28 June where we entered a team of cyclists into the 60 mile ride on a loop that left from Bath city centre through Burrington Coombe and Chew Magna. The squad braved the seasonal weather (heavy downpours, 15°C), travelled 67.5 miles and climbed just over 40,000 feet which is three times higher than Ben Nevis (not that there was any competition with those who had done the Three Peaks)! The riders survived with just a few bumps and bruises and completed the challenging route.
Defying the saddle soreness of Bike Bath we entered another team of by now crack cyclists in the inaugural Bike Oxford event on 7 September. We were delighted to sponsor this event and supplied bike seat covers which were given out at the end to all participants which saw Oxfordshire awash with Withy King (as well as several children using them as shower caps). Once again the team donned their cycling gear for the 80 mile ride. The team completed the ride with consummate ease even though it was the furthest a number of the team had ever ridden. The event was a great success and something we hope to support in the future.
As a firm we covered all the associated costs of entering these activities as part of our commitment to our corporate social responsibility programme, so whatever money was raised is shared by our chosen charities. In addition to our firm-wide activities to support our chosen charities, each member of our staff is given two charity days per year to work with charitable initiatives within the community.