Catherine is a winter warrior; when winter called, they answered and carried on doing good over the festive period
The weekend before Christmas, loads of us from GoodGym Cardiff and the Vale made our way to Cyncoed Campus - to the NIACS centre.
This wasn't a usual mission though - we were there to volunteer and help many disabled children to complete a triathlon! It was probably one of the best Good Deeds we've done!
With full use of the track for cycling/running and the pool for swimming, we started with the brief from some of the most inspirational people we work with - Chloe and Jeff - from Big Moose.
Feeling super motivated, we immediately got to it (After a few coffees with Mikey serving them) - with some of us being part of the cheer squad and some of us volunteering with the children.
We definitely got our training in - after being partnered with the children - as we did countless laps with them.
And what an amazing time it was...
Just seeing their smiles reach from ear to ear and the families at the brink of crying from happiness... it made it all worth it for us.
We use sports to help ourselves and others through GoodGym. But with the BigMoose Super Tri - we helped those disabled people through our passion for sports.
This mission gave an early Christmas present to those disabled children who loved every second of our company and our help to make them achieve a Triathlon. Heart reacts only please.
On Sunday December 22nd, Big Moose host their fourth SuperTri event. The event is a triathlon for disabled children, where there are no rules or winners, just a day of fun and inclusion for all. This time Big Moose have received a grant to allow them to have more vital equipment so that for the first time at Big Moose SuperTri, all of the children should be able to participate in all three events of the triathlon.
The history of SuperTri......in december 2014 friend of bigmoose sean ward had an idea....he wanted to create an event where he and his 2 disabled children could take part in a triathlon. Sean wanted to be able to take part in an event that was accessible to his whole family... and with this the bigmoose supertri was born. Fast forward a few months and after a lot of hard work from the bigmoose team, on march 28th 2015 50 disabled children - 'superkids' - and 60 volunteers arrived at maindy leisure centre and took part in a triathlon. Every child was welcome no matter what their disability, there was no timings and no competition - the aim of the day was for the children to have fun and achieve something they may never have thought possible. Since that day, Big Moose have held two more SuperTri events with the last one held on December 23rd 2018 with over 100 children taking part.
The event takes place between 10am and 3pm but I plan to make this a mission that you can attend at any point during the day and stay for as long as you would like (I don't expect everyone to be there for 6/7 hours). We have been asked to arrive from 8.30am for a 9am briefing and the children then start to arrive and begin their first events from 10am.
I know a couple of you have contacted Big Moose directly and have been paired up with a child for the event and so will be staying for most of the day. For everyone else, we have been asked if we can form a cheer squad and support the kids and help to make their day that extra bit special! There will also be a visit from a special guest in a red suit and sleigh. There may be other tasks that come up on the day too.
Please come along in your GoodGym T-shirt and grab your Santa hat or reindeer antlers and be a part of this special day just before Christmas!
It's the most wonderful time of the year!... Especially when 30 GoodGym runners show up to get fit and do good in Cardiff
Only 8 sleeps left until Christmas! Isn't that exciting? At GoodGym Cardiff it still feels like we had a big Christmas present early, winning the Getting Wales Active award!
To start the night we did a warm up and said what our favourite thing about Christmas was. Some people said presents, some said Christmas dinners and others said spending time with family.
We acknowledged achievements / goings on over the past week, which included:
- Community Mission to help erect a tent at the Samye Foundation
- Community Mission to help paint a flat ready for Refugees to move in
- Nathan and Ellen completed a mission to help an older person!
- Hike up Pen Y Fan!
- A social outing to Winter Wonderland ice skating
- On Saturday 36 of us celebrated Christmas at the GoodGym Cardiff Christmas party at The Classroom
First good deeds of the night
The walking group walked around town, spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear. They were handing out Christmas cards to members of the public saying "Merry Christmas". They reported a mixed response and some people thought there was a catch! There was no catch and we just wanted to make people smile :).
Whilst the walking talking group were handing out Christmas Cards in town, the runners, with presents in arms - quite literally -were heading over to Nightingale House to deliver gifts to the residents. Sophie Hastings, a GoodGym runner, had her work kindly donate gifts this year and we got to run them to Nightingale House.
Onto the next good deed of the night
We arrived back to Big Moose about 7.25pm. Now was the time to do another good deed of the night! Matt, a lovely employee of Big Moose, gave us lots of tasks that the charity needed our help with. Tasks we helped with included:
- Baking cookies and biscuits
- Making framed certificates for the attendees of the Big Moose Supertri event
- Putting lush products and framed certificates inside goodie bags
- Sorting and stock counting Big Moose Merchandise
- Giving Big Moose a touch up of paint to keep it looking fabulous!
Matt couldn't believe the speed at which we worked. It was safe to say we were very busy efficient GoodGym elves.
** Post run**
After the evenings events we headed to the Glassworks for a social drink of water, coffee and for some something stronger Ahem Two pint tuesday for some...
Well done tonight. It was our final group run of the year and boy did we go out with a bang! Nightingale House were so grateful for the gifts... we were more than 3 kings bringing gold frankincense and myrrh that's for sure! Big Moose were immensely thankful for our help (Matt was in disbelief with how much we got done and how quickly we did it). The members of the public who have received cards wishing them a Merry Christmas, well who knows, we may have brightened someones Christmas... we may even be the only person wishing them a Merry Christmas - we may never know.
Happy New Year everyone - You are the best x
Tweet off Leaderboard 2020
There was a special opportunity for one runner to get ahead on the 2020 tweet off leaderboard. The competition was fierce. Can Lucy retain the tweet off crown? Only time we will tell. The winner tonight however was Marie! A huge well done. The scores are as follows:
- MOH - 1
Welcome to GoodGym Cardiff! We're a friendly and social group who combine exercise with helping out in the local community. We meet every week to get active and do a physical task to help the charities and community organisations and projects in our area.
We will be helping Big Moose get ready for the Big Moose Supertri. At the Supertri each child gets a goody bag with loads and loads of stuff in! They will get a certificate, postcard, soap, biscuits, toy, activity pack and MORE!... For 1 special evening, Big Moose is going to become Santa's little workshop. We are going to have a conveyor belt system and have a massive line of us each putting the bags together! - I know, before you say it, it really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!!!!
GoodGym is for everyone. We welcome runners of all abilities and it is often possible to walk to the task if you would prefer. We always have a back-marker so no-one is left behind - we're about achieving something together so you'll always be welcome no matter what your pace is.
Catherine has done their first race with GoodGym. Performing on the day is a lot of pressure; Catherine's dealt with the nerves and turned up on the day to make it happen.
There were mince pies, mulled wine, sweat, sweets, smiles and a little bit of hail all on offer this Sunday as 15 runners competed the Merthyr Mawr Christmas Pudding Race!
We gathered at the starting line - the base of the 2nd highest sand dune in Europe! - and at the sound of the horn, we dashed off! But after much huffing and puffing, this turned into a walk as a few hundred runners all realised that running to the top was going to wreck us, before we got any further. Things quickly sped up as what goes up, must come down! And down we went over the other side, and into the fantastic Merthyr Mawr sand dune system.
The winding course too us across dunes, up grassy hills, through freezing cold streams, down muddy tracks, through woods, through more streams, onto the beach, up the estuary, through even more streams ... to the finish! It was truly a test of endurance, and even some pain as Mat dislocated his kneecap along the route! But well worth it for the lovely lunch afterwards, to refill on calories, share stories and plan our next events. Great running everyone!!!
Catherine has done 10 good deeds. They are a trusted GoodGym runner and are now eligible to join their local TaskForce.
Christmas is often a really difficult time for families who are homeless, so tonight's task was a very sensitive and emotive one. It was a task that we hope brought aspects of joy to the lives of families during a very challenging time
This evening 38 runners showed up to Big Moose to join in this evening's GoodGym run. Yes, 38!!! 38 is the most runners we have EVER had on a GoodGym Cardiff run. There were 3 new runners tonight too- A huge welcome to Sarah, Abby and Lucy! It was absolutely fantastic having you run with us. Jayne brought along Abby to GoodGym that means she earned herself a red lace #LifesGoals! Jayne will now have one faster leg when she runs until she brings another friend and claims another red lace.
The evening started with Ben leading a warm up. He then gathered everyone together to do the usual introduction and acknowledge any achievements over the past week. They included:
- GoodGym Cardiff and The Vale (That's us!) winning the BBC Sport Wales, Getting Wales Active Award
- Ben (GoodGym Trainer) running the 3 Day Ultra Trail Marathon in Ibiza; running over 105km over 3 days
- Lucy Marsh reaching 200 good deeds - Woo!!!
- A wonderful Community Mission at Herbert Thompson directed by Ms Guy
Runner of GoodGym Cardiff and Global News room journalist, Peter Gillibrand turned up in his star costume this evening. If you didn't know by now, Pete is attempting to break a Guinness World Record by running the 2020 London Marathon dressed as a star - Well done Pete you looked fab!
Arriving at Nightingale House
We've run to Nightingale House twice before yet we always managed to forget which building it is - Running up and down the street gives us a bit of extra exercise though, something that we shouldn't be averse to as GoodGym is about getting fit after all.
The staff at Nightingale House welcomed us in with the warmest of welcomes. They were very shocked to hear that 38 runners had turned up, a jump from the 20 that were signed up a couple of days ago.
Our tasks this evening were to decorate the communal areas with Christmas themed decorations and wrap presents, in secret, in the building at the rear of the garden. Some of the runners also gave the garden some TLC by picking up leaves and doing some weeding.
What an incredible task
Everyone found a role and got stuck in. At least 3 Christmas trees were put up. One of the children had James playing with an inflatable Santa for most of the time. Imogen was also being chased with tinsel by some of the children. There was a baby who was dressed in a VERY cool Christmas outfit, who was amazed by the Christmas tree and kept gazing at it in amazement.
In the back building aka. Santa's workshop, runners were speedily wrapping presents. After wrapping one present they would quickly be on to the next. Every bit of space was made use of for the task. Chloe and Sue spent 30 minutes in the toilet wrapping presents.
Thank you so much for your help
The staff and the residents at Nightingale House were extremely grateful, and we were grateful that they allowed us to celebrate some of Christmas with them. Everyone wished each other a Merry Christmas and then we disappeared into the night.
Dave led the run back to Cardiff City Centre, although he quickly ran back to Nightingale House as he had forgotten his bag (Some more unexpected exercise!).
A task that will definitely make a difference. Well done all!
Next week's GoodGym run is on Wednesday - Make sure you come along!
Next Tuesday we have the BBC Sports Awards so the group run will take place on Wednesday. The plan is to help Samye Foundation. I will also be looking for an additional Christmassy themed task. I would love to see you next week - I will bring the award to show you too. Click here to sign up to next week's run.
Gosh that was quick! Megan has claimed another point on the tweet off leaderboard! Well done! ALL points count and there are less and less opportunities to move up the leaderboard as each week goes by.
- LM 13
- MO 9
- EW 5
- MJ 5
- DRN 4
- MG 4
- NS 2
- RJ 1
- BA 1
- NI 1
- AG 1
- WD 1