Pupils and staff in virtual race to Six Nations stadiums

Pupils and staff at Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen and Bryntirion Comprehensive are going head to head with three other South Wales schools in a virtual race to the Six Nations stadiums.

Years 7 and 8, as well as school staff, are competing against their peers at Chepstow, Cwmtawe and Monmouth Comprehensive Schools in the Race to the Stadiums competition inspired by the annual rugby tournament.

The youngsters are clocking up kilometres by running, walking, cycling, rowing, and even skateboarding and scootering, with the aim of covering the distance between the Principality Stadium and the other five venues by the start of the February half term break.

So far at Bryntirion, 45 Year 7 pupils, 35 Year 8 pupils and 60 staff have taken part and as of Monday 8 February, the Year 7 pupils were leading their league with 594km, while the Year 8s were in fourth with 392km and staff were third with 1,536km, making a total of 2,522km covered by all.

Across the school, the distance clocked up means they have virtually travelled to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Twickenham in London and the Stade de France in Paris with just Stadio Olimpico in Rome left to reach another 978km away.

At CCYD, about 50 staff, 90 Year 7 and 75 Year 8 pupils are taking part in the challenge. The Year 7 pupils are in third with 504km, Year 8 are also third in their league with 409km and staff are fifth with 1,109km – a total of 2,022km which means they’ve also reached the Stade de France.

CCYD hub officer Chris Dicomidis said: “Many of the pupils usually take part in sport, both for school teams and outside school, so they are missing that social and competitive element at the moment.

“We are getting everyone’s data from their fitness apps and it’s created a real buzz amongst pupils and staff too. It’s something pupils can do safely from their homes and families can get involved too.

“I know it’s motivating me to get out and put the miles in and I can see the difference getting out and active has on my own children sat at home all day. It’s vital for us all to stay active for our physical and mental health.”

Councillor Dr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “Well done to the pupils and staff at Bryntirion and CCYD for their excellent efforts in this competition so far.

“Exercise is as important for mental health as physical health so Race to the Stadiums is a great initiative to encourage pupils to keep active during lockdown.

“Pupils may be missing taking part in sports training or being able to cheer Wales on in person at Six Nations matches.

“This friendly competition is a great motivator for them to take breaks from their screens and stay fit and active safely within the current guidelines, while connecting with other youngsters and schools in a common goal. Good luck Bryntirion and CCYD!”