SCHOOLS, businesses and individuals across Swindon were getting sweaty for Sport Relief yesterday and raising money to help people in the UK and abroad.

At Kingsdown School, students racked up more than £100 for the charity when they competed against staff in an all-day row-a-thon.

Swindon Advertiser:

  • Matt Lambourne competing for the staff team at the Kingsdown School row-a-thon

Louise Spence, head of PE at the school, said: “This year Sport Relief have been encouraging schools to do things a little bit different, rather than just the mile everyone does each year.

“So we decided to have a row-a-thon of staff against the students.

“The atmosphere was fantastic, all different kinds of staff were getting involved and students enjoyed it as well with many staying on longer if the next student didn’t turn up.”

Pupils at Covingham Park Primary School also got involved by taking part in a Wake and Shake event before classes.

Joe Lee, KS2 leader and PE co-ordinator at the school, said: “In recognition of Sport Relief we held a five to ten-minute session before school. Everybody got involved – teachers and students – and did a bit of dancing to music.”

Staff at Nationwide’s Pegasus House ran a call centre taking donations throughout the night from people who rang in.

Swindon Advertiser:

  • Volunteers from Nationwide in Swindon who were manning the phones for Sport Relief, back row, from left, Matt Carter, Stephanie Austin and Alex Down. Front, Lesley Gossage and Sam Keenan. Picture: STUART HARRISON

Stephen Uden, head of citizenship at Nationwide, said: “It is exciting to once again be part of Sport Relief, building on the success of last year when our staff and members raised over £100,000.

“We are proud to be able to offer one of the country’s largest volunteer call centres with over 500 Nationwide volunteers staffing Sport Relief phone lines and taking donations on the night in our call centres here in Swindon and across the country.”

Across the town individuals were also taking part in challenges for Sport Relief.

Jane Cordes, the former headteacher at St Luke’s School, hiked along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu with Kirk Norcross of The Only Way Is Essex fame.

Swindon Advertiser:

  • Jane Cordes and Kirk Norcross at Machu Picchu

Jane said: “Completing the trek was one of the most gruelling and rewarding challenges I have ever undertaken in my life.

“Reaching the top and taking in the most breathtaking views of one of the seven wonders of the world from the Inca Sun Gate was indescribable though.

“And knowing that we were raising money for such a worthwhile cause really helped to spur us on when the going got tough.”

Money raised through Sport Relief is split evenly between supporting projects and changing lives in the UK and all over the world.

In Swindon, several projects have benefited from cash from the charity, which includes its sister campaign Comic Relief, over the years.

These have included Swindon Sea Cadets, Swindon Walcot & Parks Community Group and Kandu Arts Sustainable Development.

For more information about Sport Relief, visit, and for Comic Relief, visit


THERE’S still time to do your bit for Sport Relief. Head along to one of these events over the weekend:


  • Swimathons at Lime Kiln Leisure Centre, Highworth Rec, and Faringdon Leisure Centre, all day


  • Swimathons at Lime Kiln Leisure, Centre, Highworth Rec, and Faringdon Leisure Centre, all day
  • Sainsbury’s Coate Water Mile – one-mile event at 11am and 11.15am, three-mile event at 10.45am, and six-mile event at 10.30am


  • Cricklade Mile Run at Cricklade Leisure Centre – one mile event at 9.45am, three-mile event at 9.30am, and six-mile event at 9.30am