Dunhurst pupils travel to the Tokyo Olympics

Bedales Prep, Dunhurst

When the UK entered its third lockdown and second period of online learning in January, pupils at Bedales Prep, Dunhurst were challenged to race over 5,000 miles from London to Tokyo in their school Houses, which are named Stoner, Butser, Wardown and Wheatham after hills in the local area. Ten weeks later, Stoner has emerged victorious, clocking up 6,811 miles to be crowned winners.

Inspired by the 2021 Olympics, which are due to take place in Tokyo later this year, Dunhurst’s Head of Sport and PE Will Bray called on pupils to work together in their respective Houses to complete the 5,958 miles from London to Tokyo. All pupils – along with parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, grandparents and staff members – competed, sending any distances covered to Dunhurst’s PE department, who published weekly running totals. When schools re-opened on 8 March, the challenge continued, with pupils and their families running, cycling, rowing and even swimming in the sea to boost their House’s mileage.

Over the 10-week challenge, an impressive 23,617 miles were covered, with Houses regularly swapping places on the leader board. In the final week of the Spring Term, the results were presented to the school. In fourth place were Wheatham, with 5,497 miles; third, Butser, with 5,506 miles; second, Wardown, with 5,803 miles; and first, Stoner, with 6,811 miles. The winning House enjoyed some time together within their pods and received a Japanese-themed prize to enjoy, before Dunhurst’s Catering team put on a themed feast for everyone to enjoy at lunch.

Dunhurst’s Head of PE and Sport Will Bray said: “This was a fantastic conclusion to the Race to Tokyo challenge, which played an important role in helping the school community maintain their usual levels of physical activity and social interaction in lockdown. Congratulations to Stoner, who not only reached the target first, but made a huge effort over the final weekend to ensure they were almost 1,000 miles over the distance required.”

Colin Baty, Head of Dunhurst added: ”This was a lovely physical activity that the whole community took part in, both during school and out of school time. At a point we were unsure if a House would make the distance and everyone got behind it and have done ever so well - running, walking, riding over 20,000 miles! An amazing effort by all involved.”