UoB’s Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) college is helping its students keep fit and boosting mental health awareness during lockdown

Written by Kit Shepard

The EPS Running Festival challenges participants to run a set distance over the next few weeks and raising money for mental health charity Mind.

Organised by members of the UoB Chemistry Society (ChemSoc), the initiative emphasises the emotional benefits of exercise.

‘The aim’s really just to get people active as much as possible,’ ChemSoc sports rep Billy Grey told Redbrick. ‘It’s incredible how you can just get into a rut stuck inside and then, you go outside, even for a walk, and feel so much better.’

Free to enter for any member of an EPS society, students can choose to run either 3km, 5km, 10km or a half-marathon between 25th January and 21st February.

One week in, and over 100 members have already raised nearly £5,000, the scheme’s initial target.

Grey hopes that the variety of distances encourages further participation, saying: ­­‘[For] people who have never stepped outside and run before, 3k is something achievable for them.’

For the more experienced runners, or those who just like a competition, trophies will be awarded for the fastest time over each distance.

The societies who raise the largest amount of money and have the most runners will also win awards.

ChemSoc, who completed the Birmingham Running Festival in February 2020 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, have also set up a Facebook group and Strava club to foster much-needed community spirit now that fundraising efforts are virtual.

Making sure everyone feels involved is vital for Grey, who believes Mind is the ideal charity to raise funds for as the pandemic continues to challenge students’ mental health.

‘If you want to [donate], it’s just a great cause. I can’t think of a single person who isn’t struggling at this time.

‘Mind will probably help anyone at any point in their life, it’s a great service. You never know when you might need it.’

Useful Links:

To find out more about the EPS Running Festival, visit the fundraiser’s website.

To make a donation, click here

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