A group of swimmers took sports day to the next level with a 24-hour, non-stop marathon of events to raise money for a teenage cancer charity.
Ten members of Littlehampton Swimming Club did a variety of sports at St Philip Howard Catholic High School in Barnham on Saturday to raised more than £1,800 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
This came after a past member of their club, Alex Bryant, was supported by the charity after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
Among the teenagers was 18-year-old Ryan Lamprell from Church Street, Littlehampton.
He said that while his body was still aching from the experience, he was very proud of their achievements.
He said: “I think it’s incredible really. We’re just ten teenagers trying to do a bit of fundraising with family and friends, and to get the amount of public support we’ve had is really something special. We are very grateful to everyone involved.”
As well as Ryan, the other teenagers involved were his brother Luke Lamprell, 16, Jessie Brown, 17, Tyler Whitcome, 16, Issac Woods, 16, Tom Clark, 17, Rupert George Guiel, 17, William Redwood, 17, Hannah Edwards, 15, and Lauren Wayman, 16.
After hearing of Alex’s situation, Jessie came up with the idea of the marathon, and the others soon got involved, organising the event and a street collection in Rustington without any parental help.
The idea was to do continuous exercise for 24 hours, changing the sport every hour with most people participating while the others set up the next activity.
The marathon started at 11am on Saturday, and before it finished 24 hours later, the group undertook a variety of sports, including netball, rounders, dodge ball and even a session of yoga.
At around midnight, the group played capture the flag in the school grounds.
It was around four hours before the finish that Ryan said he began to tire – and he had a 20 minute nap to perk himself up between activities.
The two teenagers that managed to get through the event without a nap were Tom and Tyler. Ryan attributed their success to ‘lots of energy drinks and sugary snacks’.
Tyler, from Botany Close in Rustington, said the secret was saving energy. She said: “I put in less effort so I could try to make sure I could keep going. It was so hard, but I really enjoyed it.”
Tom, from Oak End in Arundel, said he made it through by ‘pure determination to carry on’.
As the end drew near, parents came to the school armed with breakfast and snacks to get their children across the finish line.
Ryan said: “They came at just the right time to pick us up and give us a boost.”
The event finished with the group doing one final run around the school field to seal their success. Ryan said: “We slept very well the night after and knew that our bodies had worked hard for a good cause.”
Tyler slept for 15 hours after the marathon.
To raise money, Jessie set up JustGiving and Facebook pages, and the group did a street collection in Rustington on Friday which raised more than £600 – as well as awareness about teenage cancer. Ryan is confident they have raised at least £1,800, breaking their £1,500 target.
He had the following advice: “If you really want to do it and your heart’s in it, then all you have to do is put in the hours and get the sponsorship. There’s nothing stopping you.”
To donate, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/jessica-brown37.