Portsmouth Hockey Club takes part in trans-Atlantic distance challenge to support NHS

PORTSMOUTH Hockey Club has raised hundreds of pounds for the NHS by taking part in a transatlantic distance challenge.

By Neil Fatkin
Saturday, 6th June 2020, 11:00 am
Updated Monday, 8th June 2020, 3:31 pm

Leading the way were Kirsty Harley and Katie Spooner, who work at Havant and South Downs College.

They joined others to travel a combined total of 3,200 miles – the distance from the club’s headquarters to Portsmouth in New Hampshire in the US.

The sporty duo took part in a daily 60-minute routine of cycling, running and walking throughout the month of May. To add a competitive element they were racing against nine Hampshire rugby teams.

Kirsty Harley (left) and Katie Spooner take part in their trans-atlantic distance challenge.

Using the Strava app to track distances, the hockey team were the first to pass the finishing line before adding an additional 224 miles.

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Those participants who chose to cycle faced a double mileage handicap when compared to those who decided to run or walk.

After learning they were the first team to reach their virtual destination, Kirsty said: ‘There was a fantastic feeling in the last week. As a team of 25 we kicked on and saw everyone going out every day. It’s great to finish, although it’s sad that the month is over.

‘It was hard at the time, especially as the race went on. I was getting more and more physically exhausted and trying to fit it in with working at the same time.’

‘A couple of days before the end, the organisers asked us if we wanted to call it a draw. We said we would push on and see who could clock up the most miles toward the goal. My colleague, Katie, was out at the time that we reached 3,200 miles and so was awarded the golden mile award.

‘I cycled the furthest out of the team at 454 miles, although this only counted as half under the handicap system.’

The hockey club has so far raised £740 to support the NHS Together Charities which is currently providing additional funding to help care for patients with Covid-19.

Go to the team’s JustGiving page to donate money to support their cause.

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