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NewsCommunityShetland walking group steps up to the challenge

Shetland walking group steps up to the challenge

A WALKING GROUP based on the Shetland Islands has won a national Step Count Challenge for the second time, registering over 3.6 million steps.

Twisted Blisters walked throughout the month of November and finished top of the table in a challenge run by national walking charity, Paths for All.

The team is made up of Shetland Islands Council employees including Ann Thomson, Morag Maver, Kevin Jones, alongside husband and wife duo John and Wendy Borrill.

59-year-old Kevin Jones led the way, achieving one million steps himself in the four-week period that the walking challenge took place.

Based in Shetland, the group braved the island’s windy, winter conditions to ensure they grabbed the top spot. Each member walked on average three times each day in order to get their steps in.

Path for All’s Step Count Challenge takes place in autumn and spring every year. This year, 483 walking teams took part in the autumn challenge alone. The five-strong team have entered the competition several times and first won the challenge in 2019.

Wendy Borrill, a member of the Twisted Blisters, said: “To have won the challenge for a second time is a great feeling and highlights the dedication from everyone involved. It’s very rewarding to set yourself a goal and then go and achieve it as a team.

“As well as winning the challenge, one incredible bonus is the physical and mental health improvement you can gain from walking. The endorphins and the sense of achievement from walking never gets old.

“The five of us can all say this has become essential to give ourselves thinking time and space as well as the usual physical benefits that come alongside regular walking.”

The 64-year-old has completed 14 Step Count Challenges in her time as an avid walker.

Wendy adds: “Walking helps me be productive during the working day. When working from home it’s easy to sit at a desk and not move, being active helps me continue to bring new fresh ideas.

“During the challenge we were able to keep tabs on the other teams progress via the online scoreboard this gave us added motivation to get out on the days where it may have been raining or when we felt sluggish.

“I would recommend any solo walker or group to sign up for a walking challenge if they can. It gives you a brilliant sense of focus and routine as well as the health improvements that come with it.”

Paths for All offers tailor-made Step Count Challenges which invite organisations of all sizes to set-up their own walking challenge to keep their workforce active by connecting colleagues working remotely and in the office.

Carl Greenwood, the Walking for Health Senior Development Officer at Paths for All said, “Twisted Blisters has shown a great deal of determination and focus throughout the challenge, their steps accumulated over the four weeks has been very impressive.

“Walking is one of the simplest and best things we can do for our physical, mental and social health. It’s free, you don’t need any special equipment, and it can be easily incorporated into the average working day.

“The Step Count Challenge can help businesses put their staff’s health and wellbeing at the heart of what they do whilst making exercise fun.

“As people commit to walking more and more every day this helps us work towards our goal of a happier, healthier and greener Scotland.”

Paths for All works with the Scottish Government and 30 partners to support and deliver national policies, such as the National Walking Strategy and other ‘active travel’ initiatives to improve the mental, social and physical health of the country.

The spring Step Count Challenge will launch on Monday 2nd May.

Find out about organising a Step Count Challenge for your own organisation here: https://www.stepcount.org.uk/bespoke-step-count-challenges

Find out about Paths for All Health Walks here: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/health-walks

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