Winter Winners 2016
I came up with the concept of #BeAWinnerInWinter at the end of 2015 (also referred to as #WinterWinners). It came on the back of the Jantastic challenge that I had taken part in the previous two winters. It was around working together to help achieve targets and goals surrounding your fitness in the first three months of the year. You set your own target, and have the support of the group around you to help encourage you and motivate you through the twelve weeks to give you the best chance to reach your goals.
Before the start of each month, each participant would declare what their goals would be for that coming month. In January, we were looking simply at the number of runs per week. In February, we were challenging ourselves with the number of runs per week and the distance of your longest run. In March, the three challenges were choosing the distance of your longest run, the quickest pace for a chosen distance, and a target time for a set distance.
The start of the new year is a difficult time for many people, especially where fitness is concerned. As a runner, I am fully aware of the difficulties of motivating myself especially when the weather isn’t good, and where other activities seem much more appealing when it is freezing cold outside! By having a group supporting each other, we have found ourselves to achieve a lot more collectively and individually.
In January, we had 47 people take part in #WinterWinners. We had the vast majority of people doing really well, and achieving most of their targets. A few people dropped out of the challenge after a few weeks for different reasons, but the rest of us battled on. We opened up the challenge for new entrants from February onwards, and got some winners on board. In total we had 50 people taking part and working hard to achieve their goals, and helping support and motivate each other.
There were 12 different challenges – 1 challenge for the first part week at the start of the year, and then 8 challenges for the first full 8 weeks, and then 3 challenges that lasted the four weeks of March.
One of the goals of me organising this was to try and build an enthusiastic supportive network of people doing their very best to turn frowns upside down, to help cheer people on, to get people not feeling so good about their achievements to realise how well they were doing. This mostly worked. Some people left, but some people joined in also. Some missed the point that challenges aren’t supposed to be easy, and that every failure is a new opportunity to start afresh and go again. I certainly didn’t achieve all my running targets, but looked at it all positively and achieved a lot more than if I hadn’t started the challenge.
One massive achievement of the group was that we have managed to raise over £400 for the Laila Milly Foundation through this #WinterWinners challenge. We suggested to participants that they donate £1 for every challenge they win, and £1.50 for every challenge they don’t win. This would be completely optional and shouldn’t be compulsory for someone who didn’t want to do so. To get so much raised though is testament to how committed and supportive so many of the group were in trying to do good for themselves and for others. I am so proud of everyone and how well they have done, and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported other people, gave encouragement, and/or donated to the fund.
Maya McCormack of the Laila Milly Foundation had this to say, “Wow Wow Wow! I would like to say a HUGE thank you to each and every one of you for your incredibly generous donations during this #BeAWinnerInWinter challenge!
The children love music sessions so I thought it would be good to buy some instruments so we can hold our own music time sessions. We also could do with more sensory items for our sensory room. We already have a projector with one rotating image wheel, so it would be fantastic if we could buy a few more.
Thank you so much once again & well done on all your fantastic achievements over the last 3 months xx”
A few of the survey results
- How well do you rate the quality of support within the Facebook group for #WinterWinners?
Very high quality – 75%
High quality – 25%
- How would you rate the support of the organiser of the challenge?
Very high quality – 85%
High quality – 15%
- Overall how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the #BeAWinnerInWinter challenge?
Very satisfied – 95%
Somewhat satisfied – 5%
A few testimonials and quotes from participants
- It was a fantastic challenge and kept me going.
- Really, really enjoyed it, can’t wait for the next one.
- Excellent organisation and great support.
- I’ve had some very supportive messages from the group.
- Rich Lord, you’re a superstar and thank you for being so supportive and for organising this group. I’m really looking forward to the next set challenges.
- To everyone else thank so much for being so supportive xx
- I’ve enjoyed the challenges and they have helped me make progress with my running and push myself further.
- Thanks Rich for doing this, I’ve achieved goals I could only have dreamed 5 months ago.
- A well organised challenge that really motivated me to push my training up by several gears! Thank you so much Rich for giving up your time for us to do this.
- Rich, you have been amazing at organising this in your spare time and have put so much effort in, it is really appreciated. Well done.
- As everyone is saying, a massive thanks to everyone for their support and especially to Rich for running the group.