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Olympian helps out with charity rowing
OLYMPIC gold medalist rower Sophie Hosking MBE visited Nationwide yesterday to kickstart an initiative to raise money for Sport Relief.
Staff at Nationwide are hoping to raise £150,000 by March 21 next year by completing enough environmentally friendly miles to travel around the world.
The Around the World in 80 Ways initiative will see staff walk, hop, skip and jump 25,600 miles during the next five months to help raise money for vulnerable people in both the UK and the world’s poorest countries.
To launch the initiative, staff at Nationwide’s three administrative centres in Swindon, Northampton and Bournemouth welcomed Sophie to help them collectively row for 24 hours – eight hours in each office – in a sponsored rowathon.
More than 120 employees around the country signed up to take part in the rowathon.
Sophie, who has retired from rowing at the age of 27 after taking part in the sport since she was 14, said: “It’s a really great initiative that will encourage a lot of people to get out there and do a bit of exercise to raise money for a really fantastic cause.
“Anything that can support such a fantastic charity has to be a good thing.
“I think it’s a fantastic company at Nationwide where they run schemes like this and it’s also fantastic for raising the profile of Sport Relief.”
In Swindon, 32 members of staff took part in the rowathon, including chief operating officer Tony Prestedge.
Tony said: “I didn’t do as well as our Olympian Sophie Hosking by any means.
“I think this is a fantastic initiative and we had a fantastic response from members of staff who came out to take part.
“It also ties in nicely with our environmentally friendly policies since staff members will have to collectively travel more than 25,000 miles in environmentally friendly ways like running, swimming – hopping even.
“We hope to double what we managed to do in 2012 by raising £150,000.
“It’s a great time at the moment for Nationwide as we have also just celebrated 20 years in partnership with Macmillan and now we are fundraising for Sport Relief and all the staff are behind it and that’s really good to see.”
Staff are being encouraged to complete at least one environmentally friendly sponsored mile to contribute to the total.
To find out more about Sport Relief and how to get involved, visit www.sportrelief.com.
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