As the Athletic Union continue in their year long effort to raise money for charity, Jack Organ follows the AU Exec in what looks to be their last charitable endeavour of the season: 24 sports in 24 hours
Throughout the year, AU President Jo Carter has led the Athletic Union in several charity events which included a London Marathon and a bike ride to Lancaster and back. Even with the current Exec team coming to the end of their tenure, they decided to partake in one more challenge to raise money for a good cause.
Coming to the end of its term as the Athletic Union Exec, the current team decided to do something to mark the end of their tenure, and raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance by participating in 24 sports in 24 hours on May 21.
The Exec were split into two teams, with AU President Jo Carter heading Carter’s Crusaders and Jack Kennedy leading Kennedy’s Knights. The first order of the day was dodgeball beginning at 9am in the Tent. Starting with high spirits and plenty of exuberance, both teams were evenly matched, playing out a draw. With a logistical error preventing the teams from competing in Archery, the teams instead took part in a rounders game with the Knights managing to draw first blood, taking it 11 ½ – 6.
Seeing the teams four hours later on the Astroturf competing in Hockey, I was immediately struck by how fresh they seemed. Five sports and five hours on and they were still going at it with everything they had, despite having climbed a rock wall, fenced and played Lacrosse. It was no surprise that hockey players Jo Carter and Sam Simms helped the Crusaders to a solid but close victory.
When organising the event the Exec had had the foresight to choose indoor sports that were in sight of a television during the period of the Manchester United and Chelsea game. So while the Champions League Final unfolded in dramatic style in front of the masses in Derwent bar there was another closely fought contest being decided, as the two teams battled it out on the pool table and darts board. Speaking to them at the halfway mark, I could see fatigue starting to creep in and some of the spark had abated. Yet, bearing in mind they had been competing for twelve hours straight in physically demanding sports, one could only wonder at how they weren’t flat out on their backs.
Catching up with the teams in the last hour at 8am as they pounded the athletic track (there was some consternation as to who had picked that sport last) the sense of relief that it was over was palpable. The teams at this stage looked exhausted, yet there was still talk of doing a sprint relay for the point, despite the fact that Carter’s Crusaders had already won.
Asking around as to how they felt, they were glad it was drawing to a close, with many stiffening limbs occurring all round. The sense from all was of camaraderie, having been alone in the sports centre all night playing sports many were not proficient at while in a state of extreme tiredness and sleep deprivation. Jo Carter captured the essence of what the Exec had gone through when she commented that “this was harder then the London Marathon”. Seeing the teams at that early stage on Thursday morning one would be hard pressed to disagree with her sentiment.
Overall, the challenge was a great success for the AU and organiser Adam Clark who ensured that the event ran smoothly.