Take the plunge for charity
How many times have you heard someone say they would love to run a marathon or do a trek overseas, but they just never get around to it? And how many times have you been guilty of this yourself? Raising money for a charity could be that final push you need to finally pluck up the courage and sign up for an event. What better reason to take the plunge and sign up for a life changing experience than raising money for a worthwhile cause?
We’ve all been there – a cold blustery night in the middle of winter, when stepping out the door to do some training is nestling right at the bottom of your list of things to do. However, knowing that a charity is relying on you to train properly and complete your challenge will change this completely. Give your preparation purpose by fundraising for a charity and your training will fly by.
Taking part in a challenge for charity allows you to support a cause that is close to your heart. If a family member or friend has been affected by a disease or illness then you can raise money for a charity that supports their cause and know that you’re doing your bit to help. This will also help your fundraising efforts, as people will be more likely to donate if there is a personal aspect to your charity challenge.
Charity support for your training
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the relationship with your chosen charity will be a one-way relationship. In return for your fundraising efforts your charity will provide you with heaps of support before your challenge, including kit, preparation tips, training sessions and much more. They’ll have seen it all before, so if you have any problems or worries before your challenge then let them know and they’ll try to help, or put you in touch with someone who can.
Charity support on the day
Support from your charity will also extend to the challenge itself. They’ll give you some much-needed encouragement on the day of your challenge, with many charities providing cheering squads for the bigger events that will really help you get round the course. You might even get some on-the-day exclusives, such as a special starting zone for races or a charity only recovery area after your challenge.
Not only does a charity challenge help your chosen cause, it also gives your fitness a big boost. By the end of your challenge you’ll feel fitter than ever, as the hours of preparation and training really start to show some serious results. For instance, completing a triathlon will burn close to 2,000 calories at the event alone, never mind the tens of thousands you’ll have shifted during your training.
Meet new people through your charity
You might not think it when you sign up, but getting involved with a charity challenge is actually a great social experience. You’ll meet tons of new and interesting people along the way, from charity workers to fellow competitors and fundraisers. Go through a tough charity challenge such as a trek or long distance cycle ride with someone, and you’ll find you’ve made a good friend for life.
Make a difference for charity
Charities are always in need of more money, so your charity challenge fundraising will truly benefit them and make a difference. Your chosen cause will be happy to explain exactly how your money will help by showing you how it will be spent and who will benefit from it. If you find yourself struggling during your challenge, just think of all the people your efforts are helping and you’ll soon find some new reserves of energy and motivation.
Fitness benefits aside, taking on a charity challenge will also help you to improve yourself in other ways. Of course the main aim is to help out a worthwhile cause, but you’ll also enjoy a sense of fulfilment and selflessness that should serve to improve your mood, safe in the knowledge that you are making a difference. Completing a challenge for charity will also score some serious points with any prospective employers, which is always a nice bonus.
Let’s be honest here, would you know the first thing about organising a trek up Mt Kilimanjaro or planning a cycle ride across India? Don’t worry, neither would we – but your charity will. Charities have bags of experience when it comes to setting up challenges like this, so they will have all the contacts and knowledge needed to sort out the logistics of the more exotic of fundraising efforts.
Feeling inspired? Why not view our list of Partner Charities and pick a great cause to support.