3 Peaks Challenge: IT teams make a difference

The CARE International 3 Peaks Challenge is not far off now, but there's still enough time to get involved and help raise money for an excellent cause.

The CARE International 3 Peaks Challenge is not far off now, but there's still enough time to get involved and help raise money for an excellent cause.

And the challenge is not just about charity - those taking part say climbing Britain's three highest mountains in 24 hours is a great way of getting fit and team building.

Past participants say it also helped to focus their team and provide organisations with good news to spread, now even more important as the recession continues to bite. And IT professionals all over the country will get the chance to get out and see some of Britain's countryside.

Groups will need to raise £6,000 and be fit enough to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, but don't let that put you off. CARE International's events team has plenty of experience in helping teams complete the task.

Last year's event was a huge success, with £100,000 raised towards CARE's work and several IT teams excited by their achievement.

The charity will support you through the process and can come up with lots of ideas for raising money and training.

Rugby Football Union

The IT department at the Rugby Football and Union has, by its own admission, slightly lower levels of fitness than some members of the organisation. But team leader Rob Mackmurdie said this motivated his team even more.

"Clearly, as part of a major sport governing body we are constantly surrounded by tales of sporting and fitness excellence, sadly little of which emanated from the IT department. We all saw this as a real opportunity to address that imbalance whilst giving the whole team the impetus to get fit with a real end result to aim for."

He says the team's training started slowly, but that members are increasingly likely to be found in the gym each evening - despite, he says, some of the RFU's other gym users being a little intimidating.

Team building

The team is also training together at the weekend, and are doing longer walks in the nearby countryside.

It's hard work, said Mackmurdie, but it's fun and worth it. "One of the main aspects I had hoped for in putting forward a team for this challenge was the positive aspect on team relationships and the general team building effects.

"So far the encouragement from all angles has been great and hopefully we can build on that, so when we really need to call upon the team spirit some way into the event, we know it will be there in plentiful supply."

He added everyone is looking forward to see what they achieve. "We know we work well together in the IT environment so this is a real chance to challenge ourselves in totally unfamiliar surroundings."

CARE International says these kinds of events are absolutely crucial in helping it continue its vital work fighting poverty. It relies on the drive and determination of IT teams like the group at the RFU to help support poverty-stricken people all over the world.

Care International

Mackmurdie said the reason his team got involved started with the publicity in Computer Weekly, which initially caught his eye. But it was the vital work CARE does that made the team decide to go ahead.

He said: "Having researched CARE further and met with the challenge organisers it was clear to all members of the team what a worthwhile cause this was and the importance of CARE in the provision of aid overseas. The team was very impressed by the aim of utilising local resource to provide aid where feasible, rather than simply shipping in expensive foreign help with little or no understanding of the real local position."

The event will take place in June. Go to www.carechallenge.org for more information, call 0207 934 9470 or e-mail challenge@careinternational.org

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