Students and staff are being encouraged to keep their bodies and brains active throughout lockdown by walking, running and cycling their way to the moon with their colleges.

AoC Sport, an arm of the Association of Colleges, has launched the ‘Lunar Challenge’ to keep the FE active by travelling 238,855 miles, roughly equivalent to a one-way trip to the moon.

This is not just in aid of fitness; the main focus is on supporting mental health and wellbeing and linking to AoC Sport’s ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ initiative, which covers the themes: get active; give; take notice; connect; and keep learning.

“We want as many staff and students to get involved as possible to encourage physical activity and maintain a positive relationship to physical and mental health during the lockdown,” a post on AoC Sport’s website reads.

Having launched yesterday, the Lunar Challenge already has colleges signed up, and all AoC Sport and Natspec members can get involved by completing an online form.

Using the free Strava app, there will be a national leaderboard for cycling and running/walking, as well as a cumulative activity mileage total, so colleges can compete against one other for prizes, and there will be weekly spot challenges.

Three prizes will be on offer for the colleges which contribute the most miles towards the national total, and there will be a random prize for all participating colleges which complete 300 activities during the challenge.

On top of those, there will be prizes for the weekly spot challenges.

AoC Sport said: “All activity contributes to the college and national total, so whether this is a walk around the park, a 5km run or 15-mile cycle, everything has a positive contribution to the total, so get out and get moving!”


Winners of the leaderboard challenge will be announced by Tuesday 2 March.

The Strava app is available on Apple’s App Store or the Google Play outlet, and the Lunar Challenge is running until the end of February.

AoC Sport previously ran an ‘Around the World in 30 Days Challenge’ in November, which tasked staff and students with travelling the equivalent of one lap around the world, or 46,975 miles.

This was achieved in just 11 days and colleges ended up travelling 154,310 miles in the 30 days.

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