Goals and aims for New Year.
The Aim Education Organisation’s mission statement is
“Creating opportunities to overcome inequalities and enrich local communities.”
In furthering their objectives the Aim Education Organisation had already by November 2014 set their goals for this New Year, one of them being a 24 hour continuous!….yes continuous!…..five-a-side football match.
They had already in November set and completed the organisations first challenge, and what a challenge it was, an overnight trek around the 80 mile boundary of Leeds. One participant Jonny Wooton described it as “agony and ecstasy”, here is his account of the event.
Leeds Trek 2014
“The inaugural event of Leeds Trek in November 2014, was an 80 mile overnight trek of agony and ecstasy! The aim of the event was to raise funds, which would be used to help re-engage children in Leeds who have become disengaged from school.
AT 7.00AM on Saturday November 24, 20 brave individuals embarked on a historic walk around Leeds. The grueling 80 miles challenge started in the centre of Leeds, and reached as far as the Cow and Calf rocks on Ilkley Moor. The trek was the first (hopefully of many) Aim Education Organisation’s, Leeds Trek.intend to arrange.
As the walkers hiked between Leeds centre towards Roundhay Park, it was our four-legged friend Alan, a border terrier that flew out of the traps to set the pace until checkpoint one. As the walkers fast-approached the second checkpoint at Thorner, Alan retired for the day, but the tight-knit group of trekkers kept up their spirits as they battled their way through the mist. Once they reached the lovely village of Thorner, they received a warm welcome of excellent coffee and croissants at The Beehive. At this point some walkers had developed blisters and were having plasters and tape applied.to them. Despite the discomfort trekkers experienced the overall goal of raising funds for Aim Education remained a powerful incentive to carry them onward.
(Some of the Trekkers outside Harewood House)
Harewood House was the next checkpoint and our trekkers adrenaline was now flowing. En-route to their next stage at Otley Chevin they soldiered on through a light shower of rain . Along the way new friendships were being made, the oldest competitor John, 73, was building a rapport with Sean, just 17.
The event was the brainchild pf Aim Education’s Head of Program, Carl Harrison. Carl had positioned himself in the centre of the group of trekkers, and from there was able to encourage each competitor. Carl’s message about the aim and importance of the event was loud and clear …..we had to finish! Our success would help to re-engage children who had become disengaged from West Leeds schools, allowing them the opportunity to get back on track via Aim Education’s program.
The Cow and Calf was reached at 10pm, at this point the whole group could now see that completing the ultra-marathon challenge was becoming a real possibility.
Despite the darkness, our spirits remained high, as we passed through Guiseley, Horsforth and Headingly hunger pangs started to kick in. Meanwhile in the early hours, AIM’s administrator Babs was preparing a splendid Chicken Casserole dish, this was for the teams later arrival at AIM’s HQ, St Thomas’ Community Centre in Stanningley.
(Morley with Jenny May and mum at 5.00am)
Our 5a.m. food stop was in Morley, where Jenny and her kind-hearted mum were on hand with hot drinks and some scrumptious snacks, which loaded trekkers full of the necessary carbohydrates to help see them through until the final checkpoint.
The final stop was at the Brown Cow in Temple Newsam, where the walking weary were given by way of a final ‘push,’ some words of encouragement from Pauline Grahame, Councillor for Cross Gates and Whinmoor.
The last leg of the trek was undoubtedly the hardest but contestants ploughed on to complete the 80 miles Leeds Trek to Leeds Sports Centre, and were greeted by rapturous applause!
AIM Education would like to thank all the pubs, centres and kind individuals that helped them along the way. Planning is already underway for the 2015 event. Word on the street is that it may be a 24hr continuous five-a-side football match. If you are interested in getting involved and want to help raise funds to make Leeds a better place both now and in the future please contact Carl Harrison on 07581883160 or email him at email@example.com”
For information about AIM Education please contact our centre at St Thomas’ Church Hall, Stanningley, Leeds, LS28 6NG or call 01132554342