PLAYERS, members, supporters, staff and the wider community were out in force as two Oxfordshire clubs went head-to-head in a Strava challenge at the weekend.

Club partner Chinnor RFC Thame and their friendly rivals Banbury RUFC competed for the Community Group Cup over Saturday and Sunday.

Ranging from marathons to mile walks, all activities were crucial to the overall totals for Team Chinnor and Team Banbury.

Nearly 700 people across both clubs contributed to more than 6,000 miles, with many taking to social media to share their experiences and photos.

Banbury were crowned the Community Group Cup champions, but the purpose of the event was to encourage people to remain active during Lockdown 2.0 and for them to remain connected with their clubs during this challenging time.

Chinnor RFC Thame Head of Community, Matt Goode – who is also Banbury’s Head Coach – said: “I’d like to say thank you to everyone who took part.

“We have worked together, connected with people we’ve not spoken to for a while and it was amazing to see all of the photos.

“The encouragement on social media, the way people worked together, getting into pairs for a run or a walk and obviously going out as a family, it was just unbelievable to see.

“To have the engagement we did was fantastic. Yes, nearly 700 people went for a run or walk, but we now have about 800 registered on the clubs’ Strava groups.

“There would have been people who were unable to go out at the weekend, but they have now seen what it’s all about. It’s a team event where everyone’s efforts are recognised – a few miles are just as important as a marathon.”

Matt continued: “It was hugely beneficial for everyone. It has spurred people on to be that little bit more active.

“I’ve received some really lovely messages.

“For some of the youngsters who have struggled through lockdown without sport and rugby is their only interest, they’re now setting little goals between them to carry on from the weekend, which is fantastic.

“There was also a lady who had a really bad end to the working week, but the weekend was amazing for her. It’s nice to know we have been able to help individuals and families.”

After such a memorable weekend, there is already talk of another Strava challenge in early January.

Matt said: “We definitely want to do it again and see these types of challenges grow.

“We want to build on this weekend and encourage even more people to be active, while enjoying the company of their friends and family.”

Any companies who would like to get involved in sponsorship opportunities around future challenges, are encouraged to contact our Head of Sponsorship, Lara Hunter by emailing lara.hunter@community-group.co.uk.

If you would like to know more about how Community Group can support your club, please get in touch by clicking HERE.

Community Group is committed to continuing to make a difference up and down the country. We have no intention of easing up, but in order to continue supporting those most in need, we are seeking your help by launching our Crowdfunding campaign. Any amount however big or small will make a huge difference, with your donations directly supporting our Partner Clubs and their communities.