A CLASS from Haxby’s Ralph Butterfield School walked more than a million steps in a week to win York City Foundation’s Pedometer Challenge.

The winning pupils walked an incredible 1.67million steps over seven days and their efforts were recognized at a recent City home match, where they were joined by staff and parents.

As part of an Outreach Programme, a total of 2,265 pupils, aged between four and 11, took part in the challenge, whilst also monitoring their sleeping and eating patterns.

They benefitted from workshops based on the theme ‘Eat, Train, Sleep, Repeat’, which was chosen as it mirrored a national campaign, run by York’s health and wellbeing provider Benenden, who funded the programme.

Emphasis was placed on the importance of young people’s mental health and had a particular focus on the effects of lack of sleep.

With many young people engaging more and more in gaming and using their phones right up until bedtime, this can impact on performance in the classroom and Foundation manager Paula Stainton said: “Following our visits into the schools this season, we ran a ‘Top Gear’ style leaderboard on our social media accounts throughout December, with regular live posts announcing the submissions from each school class as we received them.

“It was great to see how the schools and the young people’s families engaged with this, including comments about how their child wanted to go for a run to get more steps in, and how the challenge was being embraced at home with a competition to beat Dad!

“The success of these projects is the impact that the workshops have had for the long term and this challenge has been great proof of this. Ralph Butterfield’s winning class 6C completed a staggering number of steps collaboratively over their week and they were closely followed by Acomb Primary School Class EJ/MB with 1.427 million and Stillington Primary KS2 Class with 1.425 million steps.”

Emmie Wise, CSR and engagement coordinator from Benenden, added: “We aim to educate our members and local community on the importance of understanding what the body needs when it comes to rest, nutrition and activity levels. This all ties in to leading a healthy lifestyle and is particularly important to learn at a young age.

“We’re really pleased to have been able to fund such an educational Outreach Programme and want to say a big well done to everybody that took part in the Pedometer Challenge and send our congratulations to Class 6C at Ralph Butterfield School.”