“Bro, do you even lift?” Yes. Yes we do. Well, three of us do anyway.

Following some serious bouts of lifting and Insanity workouts, three members of the Nublue team emerged sweaty, shaking and presumably on the endorphine high of their lives from Lancaster University Sports Centre this Saturday to help raise £1,600 (and still growing) for the city’s George Higginson Telescope Appeal. It’s hoped that the final total for this year’s event will reach £2,000.

Force 5 resize

They’d been through a variety of punishing workouts as part of the sponsored Force 5 challenge, organised by Laura McConville at the Sports Centre. Over five straight hours and with just five-minute changeovers in between, 17 local men and women took part in ultimate legs, kettlebells and sets n’ reps sessions – followed by a powerhour and finishing up with a nice, not-gentle-at-all Insanity hour. It’s a far cry from the group hula hooping of the first Force 5 challenge that took place five years ago.

Our Operations and Finance Manager Marcie powered through the full five hours on the day, and couldn’t be happier with the money that’s already been raised by the group:

“It was tough, but absolutely worth it and the atmosphere was amazing! We’re really glad to have been a part of Force 5 this year and to have helped raise this amazing total that’s still going up.”

Workouts twinned

Following the challenge, the participants and their kids got together outside the Sports Centre to take part in a Force 5 tradition; releasing balloons into a blue winter sky in memory of the boy they were doing it all for – George Higginson.

George Higginson

Back in 2010, Lancashire Life Magazine reported on the tragic story of George Higginson, a boy from Overton near Lancaster who lost his life following a traffic accident.

Despite his young years, George had already expressed his desire to donate his organs after seeing a TV programme about it. His parents honoured his wish to donate when the unthinkable happened, and George’s tragic loss saved the lives of five people – ranging from a four-year-old with a rare genetic disorder to a 17-year-old boy with just days to live.

While his family set about campaigning for a change in the law to save more lives through organ donation, it was also decided that George should be remembered for his love of science and astronomy with the creation of the telescope appeal – a drive to raise enough money to build an observatory in Lancaster in his memory.

With this year’s total at £1,600 and rising, and with our Hosting Manager Ewan working on the appeal’s website with Nic Booth, George’s telescope is well on its way to becoming a fixture for science lovers around Lancaster.

You can keep track of the funds raised this year on Laura McConville’s Facebook page, where you can also leave your ideas for the appeal for Laura to pass on to George’s dad Jonathan. Laura says she already has next year’s Force 5 sorted, and it’s going to be on a “whole new level” in her own words – so you may want to start training for it now…

We’re proud of everyone who took part in the Force 5 challenge, and we’d like to wish the George Higginson Telescope Appeal the best of luck reaching its goal!

Update: As of 25th February the fundraising total has reached over £2,000!


Balloons image courtesy of Laura McConville.

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