YOUNGSTERS from across York and Selby are halfway through a charity challenge to race around the world.

Starting at the beginning of May, all 24 schools who are part of Ebor Academy Trust set off to run, walk, cycle or wheel the 40,000 kilometres across the planet.

They have now collectively travelled 21,000km – the distance from here to Fiji.

"We've got to maintain momentum and try to encourage others to help us if we are to succeed," said Ebor's chief executive Gail Brown, who herself has contributed thousands of metres from regular runs.

“There are many physical and mental benefits of being active and keeping fit.

"Regular exercise combats stress and helps you sleep at night,” said Mrs Brown.

"We've had a fantastic response from some really enthusiastic pupils and their parents and carers. We set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for the NHS and our target of £750 was easily beaten in the first week – it currently stands at £2,105."

The virtual route across the world is updated on the trust's website twice a week. Starting from York Minster, the children "travelled" to Belgium, across Europe, through Greece, Dubia, India, China and Australia.

"We're just about on track but we welcome help – anyone can join in. All they have to do is log their distances," said Mrs Brown.

Distances travelled can be easily logged using an online form, accessible here.

A sponsorship page (, has been set up for wellwishers who might want to support the activity. All donations will go to charities that support the NHS.

“This is proving to be a worthwhile and fun event and we hope our pupils, members of our school communities – and anyone else who might want to join – are enjoying their big adventure and a great exercise in teamwork.”