Susan Sinclair, Publishing Executive at ESI.info, is always on the look-out for a bit of fun and, where it raises a some cash for charity, all the better.
A few months ago I spotted in a magazine that came through my door that Strathcarron Hospice, a local charity, was looking for teams to take part in an It’s a Knockout challenge to help them raise funds. Being the right age to remember Stu Hall’s legendary commentary on TV I thought that it sounded like just the kind of thing my ESI.info workmates would love to get involved in (well, I would anyway!).
ESI.info kindly agreed to pay the initial entry fee and then the search was on for willing participants who wouldn’t mind getting soaked, ridiculed, bruised and bumped! With that, Blood, Sweat & Beers (a mixture of sales, publishing, IT and research staff) was born!
Back row, from left: Martin Evans, Vito Canale, Chris Johnston, Bill Strachan, Ian McIntosh. Front row, from left: Susan Sinclair, Heather Ballantyne, Emma Garrell
On the afternoon of Sunday 2nd September we turned up to a lovely sunny King’s Park in Stirling, along with our supporters and another 9 other teams, for the last of 3 sessions of the day. There were a few anxious faces as we watched the earlier teams complete the course, and then our team trouped out piggyback-style, and already soaked from having buckets of water chucked at us.
Over the next couple of hours we had to throw ourselves, quite literally, up over and through various inflatable assault courses, whilst carrying buckets of water on our heads, pulling rubber rings with a ‘Bathing Belle’ and all her trophies through obstacles that just didn’t want to move (thanks to the mischievous ‘helpers’ from Graham Fisher’s It’s a Knockout team), amongst other things. Of course, the copious amounts of a certain washing up liquid being splashed over everything didn’t exactly help, or leave a pleasant taste in our mouths (it may be kind to hands, but not to tastebuds)!
Chris tries to squeeze the Bathing Belle through
The finale was the ‘Arc de Triomphe’ where we had to jump through a filthy pool of water that 16 teams of 8 had passed through already that day, run up/slide down foamy slopes with Vito up top to help pull us up with our various items (swag bags and the like), throw our items to Heather in the ‘Prison’ and do it all over again on the way back. Last over was Bill (on his second trip) who had to bring the ‘prisoner’ back with him. I totally struggled to get on it in the first place; Emma made a valiant attempt considering she’d had no glasses on for the full course; Chris got a complete soaking; Ian arrived back with a facefull of suds; and Martin was the team star when he sprinted over the whole thing in lighting-quick time without any need for Vito’s help.
Vito watches as Martin shows how it’s done!
Finally, it was time for the cool-down conga, presentation of souvenir medals, and burgers courtesy of Cumbernauld Rotary Club.
All in all, Blood, Sweat & Beers showed great team spirit and we had a fantastic time before heading off full of smiles – and foaming trainers!
In total, we collected over £650 in sponsorship for Strathcarron Hospice and it was well worth every aching muscle, bruise and graze!
Could there be a Blood, Sweat & Beers II: The Return? Wait and see…
Strathcarron Hospice provides specialist palliative care, free of charge, to people in central Scotland suffering from incurable illnesses such as cancer, respiratory and heart conditions, and neurological diseases.
Care is provided wherever it’s needed, either in the hospice itself, or in patients’ homes, Forth Valley Royal Hospital, care homes and community hospital settings. Care is also extended to families and carers. To keep delivering care to those that need it the most, Strathcarron has to raise around £3.5 million each year.