Staff, pupils and parents at Ampleforth College join 'rowathon' with aim of raising £30,000 for British-based charity Hope and Homes for Children

Six hundred students, staff and parents at Ampleforth College, North Yorkshire, are joining members of the public to combine their efforts to row 2,500km (1, 553 miles) for charity – without even leaving the college gates or dry land.

The second annual Ampleforth Static Rowathon is set to take place between March 5 and 6 at the St Alban’s Sports Centre at Ampleforth College with the aim of raising £30,000 for the British-based charity Hope and Homes for Children.

Aspiring rowers of all ages will attempt to cover the equivalent distance of Ampleforth to Romania as they static row on Concept 2 rowing machines, in an effort to transform the lives of thousands of vulnerable children who live in the eastern European country.

A thrilling race, projected on to a virtual rowing lake on a big screen, will see teams competing head-to-head to begin to cover the target distance. The remainder will be racked up during individual distance challenges, team 10km challenges and a gruelling 100km endurance challenge.

Fr Gabriel Everitt, OSB, the headmaster of Ampleforth College, said: “Students, staff, parents , members of the monastic and local community have always responded enthusiastically to requests to help others. This Rowathon challenge is no exception.

“The school’s charitable fundraising arm, Face-Faw, shares many of the aims of this wonderful charity and we are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate on a project which shares so many of our own objectives.”

Hope and Homes for Children is a leading charity in transforming harmful and outdated childcare practices in eastern Europe and Africa. It helps children grow up in loving families in their own countries by closing orphanages, preventing child abandonment and keeping together families at risk of breakdown due to the pressures of poverty and disease.