Lark Rise to Cantering
13 GoodGymers made their way 4.4km to help the Larkrise Primary School in Oxford.
- Wednesday, 28th of August 2019
- Led by Anwen Greenaway
It was back to school for the Goodgym Oxford crew this week: our mission, should we choose to accept it (we always choose to accept it), was to help get the early years garden space at Larkrise Primary School weeded, cleaned, swept, and ready for the start of term on Monday.
It's 1.5km from our base to Larkrise Primary School, so we set off through Cowley with our newest Task Force member Mark back-marking, and in only 10 minutes we were at the primary school gates receiving our task instructions from Holly.
The Reception class at Larkrise have a brilliant outdoor space, complete with Bug Hotel, Fairy Garden, Mud Kitchen, and Vegetable Patch (hands off those courgettes and strawberries!!). All of the growing spaces needed weeding, we also had leaves and twigs to sweep, chairs and tables to clean, wooden pallets and rubbish to move, and the most popular task of all - sprucing up the Mud Kitchen!
With no concerns at all about getting wet and muddy several Goodgymers made a beeline for the mud, proving that you're never to old to enjoy making mud pies.
While Mike weeded the Pansy Patch, Bethan and Elissa discovered many hidden treasures as they pruned the Fairy Garden with scissors: rubber duck, zebra, gorilla, but only 1 fairy. Alex, Ben and Tim got a good upper body workout by moving pallets then thoroughly sweeping the playground. Not to be outdone by the finds in the Fairy Garden, Team Veg Patch (Julia, Mark, Alison) unearthed a car, solved the conundrum of how to get the giant sunflower to stand up straight, and gave the area a thorough weeding and sweeping. Only a few strawberries found their way into tummies; they'd be over-ripe by Monday anyway! Over in the Mud Kitchen Sarah, Olivia and Trev scrubbed up well, getting a little soggy but surprisingly un-muddy in the process, roping in Mike to hose down the chairs once the mud was dealt with.
And - Ta Dah! - in less than 45 minutes we'd completed our task list.
Holly, our task owner for the evening, commented that the same work might have taken her weeks to manage to do on her own, so our visit really made a difference. Unable to resist the play equipment (did anyone say 'big kids?') we had to pose for a group photo on the rope bridge, then off to the Roger Bannister Track we went.
We're really grateful that Oxford University Sports Centre allow us to jump onto their track for 10 minutes or so when it works with the route on our way back from our tasks. It's brilliant to have access to these iconic sports facilities and it's a joy to run on a track - no traffic to worry about, a lovely springy surface, everyone can work at their own pace without getting separated from the group.
Who can resist running a mile at the place where the first 4-minute-mile was run? Not us!
Continuing our teamwork the track workout was relay-style: grab a partner and take it in turns to run a full lap of the track as fast as you can, recovering while your partner runs their lap, then off you go again, until you've run 4 laps between you. We had some impressive turns of speed, and everyone got their legs tingling and lungs burning. Even our Goodgym 'parasite/squidge' got wriggly.
A short jog back to base and stretches, and we were done for another Wednesday.
Report written by Anwen Greenaway
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Led by Anwen Greenaway
Goodgym Coordinator for Oxford. Trail runner, often muddy.
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