48 hours, 10,000 boards, 10,000 press ups, 100,000 pattern movements. Were we insane? Maybe.
From 9:30 am on Friday 7 until 9:30 am on Sunday 9 April, the University of St Andrews Taekwon-Do Club were kicking up a storm with their annual charity Kickathon in support of Anthony Nolan, Women for Women International, and Frontline Fife.
The Kickathon 2017, now in its third year, saw the Taekwon-Do Club members aiming to break 10,000 boards, endure 10,000 press ups, and perform 100,000 pattern (a fixed set of self-defence movements against an imagined opponent) movements within 48 hours, all in an effort to raise money for the University Charities Campaign. These targets were smashed, and the event truly embodied the Taekwon-Do tenets of perseverance and indomitable spirit.
When the first board was broken and spirits were high, we were blessed with a sunny day and were confident. High volume Spotify playlists provided the background as we settled in for a long weekend. 12 hours later and we were still going strong. Boards were being broken, patterns were being performed, press ups were being (grudgingly) done, and we were only a little bit chilly. With resolute spirit still intact, we continued to power through boards into the late hours.
Some of the most entertaining experiences of the weekend happened when the revellers inside the union were sent home at 2 am. Easily entertained, they were wowed by our ability to break boards, and were generous when it came to donating. The unsung heroes of the Charity Kickathon are those brave souls who stay overnight. This is, without doubt, the worst shift to have as we are not allowed to break during this time due to noise regulations. These invaluable members of the club suffered through the cold and the sleep-deprivation valiantly doing press ups every 10 minutes and performing a plethora of patterns.
Like all good university students, they turned to Disney classics in their time of need and powered through a night of patterns and press ups to their childhood favourites. With morning came a whole new day of fundraising. At 6:20 am we had hit 4,150 press ups, 35,002 pattern movements, and 2,126 breaks.
For those of you who are numerically gifted, you will have noticed that with only 27 hours left we had a way to go in order to meet our ambitious targets. Thankfully, blessed with another sunny day, we got down to work. The afternoon saw the arrival of Rory McLion. Everyone’s favourite lion took a hands-on approach and joined us for some patterns, press ups and breaking. Boosted by Rory’s support, we began the final leg of our Kickathon. After yet another night shift, we gathered to see how far away from our targets we were. Thanks to an impressive effort overnight, in which nearly 35,000 pattern movements were performed, we were close to the finishing line. However, at 7 am we were still roughly 2,000 breaks short.
There were some questions as to whether our targets were even achievable, and like anything worth its salt, we entered the final hours of Kickathon 2017 with the good old will they/won’t they cliché. With half an hour to go, we reached the final 20 breaks. Battered and bruised, we lined up for the final assault on the boards. 9.30 am on Sunday came around. 48 hours since we had begun our valiant, and some would say ridiculous, fundraising efforts, 10,000 boards had been broken. 10,000 press ups had been done. 100,000 patterns had been performed. T
Thus far, £400 has been raised on our online donation page, and a further £977.85 was raised through bucket donations during the course of the event. Thank you to those that have already been generous enough to donate. The online donation page is to remain open until the 23 April, and we would be incredibly grateful to anyone who would consider donating in aid of the three chosen charities: Anthony Nolan, Women for Women International, and Frontline Fife.
Club Captain, Charlotte Crowe, stated that when she spoke to people about what the Taekwon-Do Club achieved at this year’s Kickathon, “their reaction is often gasps of amazement. Our club members are regular St Andrews students: we’re not top level athletes, we all have deadlines, we all need sleep and rest. I am extremely proud of how our club members pulled together through mental and physical exhaustion to raise money for charity.”
I would encourage anyone who saw us practising various elements of Taekwon-Do and thought that it was pretty cool to come along to any training session and try it out for yourself. Or maybe you saw us laughing at our own jokes, grumbling about tiredness and bruises, and dancing (badly) along to our music and thought that was the sort of club you want to join.
We train on Mondays, 8-10:30 pm, at the Sports Centre; Wednesdays, 8:15- 9:15 pm, at Victory Memorial Hall; and Fridays, 7:30-8:30 pm, also at Victory Memorial Hall. Lastly, a massive thank you and congratulations to all those who took part.
Online donation link: https:// mydonate.bt.com/events/ standrewskickathon.