Scores of BT workers around the West Midlands re-created the magic of the Olympic torch relay for Sport Relief – with a bit of a twist
Staff across the region, including some in Birmingham, Burton-on-Trent, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wolverhampton, teamed up with colleagues from other parts of the UK for the gruelling 2,100-mile, 52-day challenge from Aberdeen to BT’s headquarters in the centre of London.
It involved carrying a Sport Relief torch by various means – from cycling, running and kayaking to three-legged racing, horse-riding, ice-skating and space hoppers - accompanied by their mascot, Claire the bear. The 1,000 employees, work for BT Local Business and BT’s Business and Public Sector division, providing communications products and services to small and medium-sized firms and other organisations around the West Midlands and across the UK. It took seven weeks, covered 2,800 miles, involved 38 BT Local Businesses and 25 BT departments and they raised a £31,600 to Sport Relief
While the serious - and some not so serious – sports enthusiasts boosted Sport Relief coffers by taking part in the torch relay, others raised funds in their spare time in a variety of funny and sporty ways from the comfort of their offices. Activities included a sports-themed fancy dress, as well as clocking up as many miles as possible on static bikes.
In Birmingham, Dave Smallwood and Simon Beevers, who run the BT Local Business there, set themselves a particularly challenging target by matching on their cycle turbo trainers the 2,100 miles the torch travelled during the next eight weeks, in addition to other fund-raising.
The torch relay route took in all 38 of the BT Local Business offices. Together they form a network of independent limited companies that exclusively represent and promote BT within a defined geographical area. Their role is to provide expertise face-to-face with businesses in their locality, supporting small and medium sized firms and educational establishments in every part of the UK.