A GROUP of dedicated York keep fit fanatics have run, rowed and ridden their way round every one of Britain’s Olympic venues in the name of charity – all in a York gym.

The 14-strong team called StarStrikers-York took part in a virtual challenge which involved a daily relay which raised £2,122 for the Star Appeal – the York Hospital charity appeal launched to raise £300,000 to refurbish the hospital’s stroke rehabilitation unit.

The group had to complete a virtual tour of the main Olympic venues at Weymouth and Portland, Eton Dorney, London Velodrome, the Aquatics Centre and the Olympic Stadium, starting at York Minster and back again.

The challenge was completed at Bannatyne’s Health Club in Nether Poppleton and the team managed to collectively complete the 2,074 mile marathon in 31 days.

Susan Christie, the challenge organiser, said: “I decided to organise this because I felt we could help make a difference in supporting the stroke unit’s appeal and it is especially important to me since caring for my mum who suffered a huge stroke a few years ago.

"She was a very fit and active person and had a keen interest in sports. I’m sure she would love to help raise funds if she could, as previously she helped others in many ways.

“Rehabilitation can be an extremely long process as I discovered since stroke patients can spend six months or more in hospital. Therefore relatives who visit for this length of time, know how important such vital resources and facilities are to help stroke patients recover back to health.

“In reality, the outcome of the Star Appeal will make a big difference for stroke patients.”

Lucy Watson, fundraising manager for the charity said: “The team has raised such an incredible amount for the Star Appeal through their combined efforts to complete this challenge.

“They are such an inspiration and we would like to say well done and thank you to all the team members for their support.”

Caroline Crane, general manager of Bannatyne’s Health Club, said: “Everyone at Bannatyne’s was right behind them throughout the challenge and we congratulate them on their brilliant fundraising efforts.”