Scores of BT workers around the West Midlands are re-creating the magic of the Olympic torch relay for Sport Relief – with a bit of a twist.
Staff across the region, including some in Birmingham, Burton-on-Trent, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wolverhampton, are teaming up with colleagues from other parts of the UK for the gruelling 2,100-mile, 52-day challenge from Aberdeen to BT’s headquarters in the centre of London.
It involves carrying a Sport Relief torch by various means – from cycling, running and kayaking to three-legged racing, horse-riding, ice-skating and space hoppers - accompanied by their mascot, Claire the bear.
The 1,000 employees, who hope to raise £20,000 for Sport Relief, work for BT Local Business and BT’s Business and Public Sector division, providing communications products and services to small and medium-sized firms and other organisations around the West Midlands and across the UK.
The relay set off from Aberdeen on Wednesday (January 10) and is due to be working its way around the West Midlands between January 29 and February 1.
If everything goes to plan, the fund-raisers will arrive in Burton-on-Trent on January 29, from where they will head to Wolverhampton and Stoke on January 30. From there the relay will continue to Birmingham on January 31 and onto Coventry from where the fund-raisers will head east.
While the serious - and some not so serious – sports enthusiasts will be boosting Sport Relief coffers by taking part in the torch relay, others will be raising funds in their spare time in a variety of funny and sporty ways from the comfort of their offices.
Activities include a sports-themed fancy dress, leg waxing, as well as clocking up as many miles as possible on static bikes.
In Birmingham, Dave Smallwood and Simon Beevers, who run the BT Local Business there, have set themselves a particularly challenging target by matching on their cycle turbo trainers the 2,100 miles the torch will travel during the next eight weeks, in addition to other fund-raising.
Paul Evans, regional director for BT Local Business, said: “It’s going to be tough, but we’re all really up for it. Everyone is coming up with innovative, fun and physically challenging ways to transport the torch as well as other ways to raise money for Sport Relief.”
The torch relay route was planned to take in all 38 of the BT Local Business offices. Together they form a network of independent limited companies that exclusively represent and promote BT within a defined geographical area. Their role is to provide expertise face-to-face with businesses in their locality, supporting small and medium sized firms and educational establishments in every part of the UK.
The torch relay finishes in London on March 2.
Donations can be made at: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/carolynmitchell2
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