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Gerrards Cross and Fulmer Netball Team take a virtual trek to Lapland for the Epilepsy Society

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Paige Dawkins

Gerrards Cross and Fulmer Netball Team take a virtual trek to Lapland for the Epilepsy Society

Members of the Gerrards Cross and Fulmer Netball Team have trekked an incredible 7,542 miles in a virtual challenge to reach Lapland before Christmas.

And on route, they have already raised a fantastic £850 for their local charity, the Epilepsy Society.

The team began their virtual, covid-safe trek on 29 November, with 70 girls aged 10-18 and their families running, walking or cycling individually. Just over two weeks later, the team had collectively reached their virtual Lapland goal but have continued to clock up the miles. Some of the younger members of the team continued to challenge themselves to complete the return journey before Christmas Day.

A group of girls in netball kit stand and kneel near one another outside on a netball court
The Under 18's Netball Team

Sam Cameron, coach for the Under 12s netball team explained that when weekly matches were cancelled in the South Bucks Netball League due to covid-19 restrictions, the girls had started challenging themselves to see how many three-kilometre runs they could complete. This then grew into the virtual Lapland challenge and the chance to raise money for the Epilepsy Society.

“We chose the Epilepsy Society because it is local and close to our hearts,” said Sam. “As a nurse, I looked after many patients with epilepsy in A&E and so I really hope we can make a positive difference to their lives somehow.

“Everyone has donated at least £5 to take part, and each age group in the club has been doing their own separate race.

“By the time we get to Christmas, we will have travelled over 7,542 miles as a club. So that is potentially 9,315 miles we will have covered by the end of the competition, including the younger team’s return journey. I would like to thank Sonia Kaur, the club lead and coach Sarah Levy for inspiring this whole challenge.” 

Nicola Swanborough, Head of External Affairs at the Epilepsy Society, said: “This is an amazing achievement, and in such a short space of time. The money raised by the team will help to support people with epilepsy all across the UK, both through our Helpline and through vital research into the condition.

“Covid-19 has disrupted all our lives in different ways and we hope that the roll out of the vaccine in 2021 will help to restore a greater sense of normality. But for people with epilepsy, their lives are often disrupted on a daily basis, never knowing when the next seizure will happen.

“Funding from challenges such as the Lapland trek will help our researchers to understand more about the condition, leading to faster diagnosis, better treatments and less interrupted lives. Thank you to all the team, their families and supporters.”

The team is hoping to reach its fundraising goal of £1,000. Donate to the Lapland challenge here.