If you have ever wondered what staff and students get up to over the weekend then wonder no more – while not all weekends can be like this, 1 Kingston staff member, 1 Kingston alumni and 1 current student formed a team to take part in Boomerang 2012.
What is Boomerang we hear you ask? Well, it was a fundraising event organised by Arup to raise money for the ‘Zero to Hero’ campaign run by Fairbridge (part of the Prince’s Trust). The event took place on Saturday 11th February with the single aim being to raise money through sponsorship and get as far from London and back again in 11 hours…without paying for any transport!
That’s right – all teams had to ‘blag, borrow and beg’ organisations, the general public, friends etc to get transport away from the capital – the further we reached the more money that could be raised! In total there were 30 teams taking part with over 100 people registered from teams made up of people within the Built Environment sector.
Kingston’s team, Universally Challenged (Hayley Boyes, Fiona Quinn and Henry Skinner), started the event at 8am and set off through London towards Kings Cross to see if Eurostar would be kind enough to allow us tickets to the continent. They didn’t unsurprisingly!
After racing around London we managed to persuade London Midland to ‘sponsor’ us tickets from London Euston to Northampton and back again and off we set! By 10am we were sitting on the train heading north and watching the tweets roll in. The other teams were headed to Copenhagen, Glasgow, Birmingham, showing photos of how they were getting on. This included a team made up of 4 superheroes manage to get on a ferry heading to France and a group of Where’s Wally pose with Builders, policemen and the general public!
Throughout the day the Boomerang team sent us challenges to do and all of the teams kept them up to date with their progress! By the team we had reached Northampton and had built a snowman it was exciting to see how well everyone was doing! The first challenge was to dress an animal in our Boomerang T-Shirt, we couldn’t find one but did locate a man dressed as chicken and he was good natured enough to pose with us.
Having decided that we couldn’t reach any further north we headed back to London to try and explore south of the River using trains, bus and golf buggy in our travel. The day ended with a last minute trip in a friendly Londoner’s boat to drop us at Thames Ditton and we then reached the end point of the race at the October Gallery in Holborn by 6.55pm.
Fairbridge and the Boomerang team were delighted – no teams were lost, arrested or stranded in other countries. We’d all acquitted ourselves well as in total the event had raised over £13,000 for the charity and the most successful team had managed to get to Warsaw – 901 miles from London! The team that used the most enterprising form of transport added tractor and fishing trawler to the standard list of trains, buses and cars that other teams had managed and were suitably lauded at the after party!
While we were the only university to enter a team we were proud to have taken part in such a successful event and despite lacking some of the contacts in the transport industry to help us get further afield (yes, BAA Capital Grads we are talking about you!) we achieved a respectable distance of 61 miles and had a productive day out.
To read more about Boomerang and Fairbridge have a look on the events website; http://www.boomerang2012.co.uk/index.html and view any tweets from the day through #boomerang2012 on twitter.