A SUFFOLK Girls’ football team are on course to complete their February Challenge ahead of schedule.
Si Stewart, manager of Woodbridge Town Girls’ Under-12s, came up with the challenge of a virtual walk from Portman Road, home of Ipswich Town FC, to Wembley Stadium and back.
He set the team, who sat top of the Suffolk Girls’ & Women’s Football League U12s Championship when the season was suspended, the task of completing the 180-mile round trip in February.
However, he soon realised that he had under-estimated the enthusiasm of the 13 girls to tackle the challenge, and so extended the walk to include St George’s Park, home of The FA’s national football centre, making the round trip a total of 410 miles.
Si said he set up the challenge after taking inspiration from the club’s senior sides, who are running 2,000 miles this month for the FIND charity.
He said: “I think Lockdown 3, what with it being winter and the dark nights, has been particularly tough for most people, and I wanted to keep the girls motivated both mentally and physically.
“I probably made the error in underestimating the girls, and it was soon apparent that they would complete the task in around a week, so we decided to add in St George’s Park.”
Si said he had been adding in stop off points en route at football teams with a girls’ and ladies’ section and also tagging them on social media.
Even after extending the virtual walk, which has not been raising money but purely about getting out and doing something mentally and physically challenging, Si said the girls are on course to complete it early.
They are only just over half-way through the month and yet their latest update showed they are just 24 miles from reaching Wembley.
“Yes, they are absolutely smashing it, and should be completed by the end of this week.
“It’s been amazing to see how the girls have responded to the challenge, and hopefully we can get them back kicking a ball in the near future,” he added.
Two teams running for local charities