A TEAM of five Old Town scouts have beaten 164 other scout teams from across the country to win a national competition.

The quintet from the 12th Swindon Scout group, aged between 12 and 14, were victorious in the annual London Monopoly Run, a one-day event which sees scouts travel around London visiting places on the Monopoly board.

Richard Bennett, of deputy district commissioner of Swindon Ridgeway Scouts, accompanied the winning team and said: “When we were on the coach they found out they had ended the day in first place, they were absolutely delighted with that.

“They were incredibly proud of themselves with what they had achieved.

“They had a fantastic day. That independence to go around London in a small group taught them a huge amount about what there is in London but also they were having to create and plan their own route.

“I was very impressed with one of the girls who was always looking to where to go next to keep the team together and have them going the right way.”

The day began at Waterloo station with each team being given a pack containing photos of locations on each street included in the famous board game.

Like the game, the first team to each property is able to purchase it with subsequent teams having to pay rent, and the team with the most money at the end of the day wins.

A team is fined £200 for each location they don’t manage to visit during the day but the Swindon winners only missed Mayfair.

More than 900 people, including 11 teams from Swindon, took part on March 5 with the Swindon-based scout group finishing the day with over £6,000 in the bank.

Their victory was put down to a clever strategic plan which saw them able to purchase a complete colour set (Leicester Sq., Piccadilly and Coventry St) within the first 30 minutes of play.

Mr Bennett said: “Scouting in Swindon is all about everyday adventure, giving unique opportunities to young people.

“The London Monopoly Run is just one example of the wide range of activities undertaken by scouts across Swindon.

“Not only was the competition a fantastic day out for all who attended, both the scouts and the volunteer leaders, but it also helped the young people to develop key skills in teamwork, leadership and independence.”

The younger scouts that are not moving up to Explorer Scouts in the next 12 months are aiming to defend their title in the capital next year.

For more information about getting involved with scouting in Swindon, visit www.swindonridgewayscouts.org.uk.