Leeds techies get away from desks for charity fitness challenge

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A team of techies have swapped websites for walking, running, swimming and cycling to raise more than £25,000 for four local charities.

The 35-strong workforce from Engage Interactive in Leeds have ventured away from their desks to compete in fitness challenges over the past three years as part of the digital agency’s ‘Elympics’ initiative. The scheme, designed to raise money for local causes while reaping the benefits of being physically active, is now in its fourth year.

The staff crossed the finish line with £10,422 of charitable donations in 2018, bringing the total to £25,210.

The company has donated the money to four local charities. Catch, a community hub in Harehills, offered volunteer incentives with the money; ToastLoveCoffee, a café tackling the loneliness crisis in Leeds, set up permanent premises this year; Lineham Farm, which offers a rural break for disadvantaged children, were able to buy a fleet of new bikes for the children to use; and Open Country, which helps disabled people access the countryside, used the money to buy a tandem bike.

Alex Willcocks, owner at Engage, said: “We’ve competed in marathons and international cycling races, summited the Three Peaks during Storm Gareth, swam muddy rivers in the depths of winter, and achieved PBs in triathlons. ”

This year, the homeless charity St George’s Crypt, and Sunshine and Smiles, a support network in Leeds for children and young people who have Down Syndrome, will also benefit.