STUDENTS at The Grange School spent last weekend really sticking their oar in...and in the process, managed to raise almost £2000 for a charity that means a lot to them.

The year 12 students arranged to take part in a gruelling virtual row over a period of 24 hours and even had messages of support from double Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell OBE, who was taking on the challenge himself.

The aim was to row 6km every four hours within a 24 hour period, however, with the clocks springing forward last weekend, they actually completed the task in just 23, raising £1836 for the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital in the process.

Ben Scawn was the chief organiser of the event and he was joined by fellow students Anton Ball, Alfie Dickens, Edwards Dobbs, Saskia Dry, Olivia Harding, Jemima Hassall, Heidi Hill, Antoine Moore, Frankie Robertson and Omar Siddiqi.

Explaining why raising funds for the hospital charity was so important to them, the students said:

"We were very keen to support the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, a charity we are passionate about after the death of student John Nesbitt as a result of his heart condition, myocarditis.

"We were determined to do something different. Something difficult.

"Since it mixed the sport that we love with raising money for charity, James Cracknell’s challenge was perfect for us rowers, and sufficiently painful."

They had originally planned to do the challenge at home individually but as they are a year group bubble, were able to use the facilities and space in the school's new sports centre.

The start point of the challenge was the school's boathouse on the River Weaver, with the first of the 6 kilometre stretch beginning at 8am, with a maximum of just 2.5 hours between each leg, which proved more challenging the longer the day went on and when day turned to night.

Northwich Guardian: The Sixth formers from The Grange School during the challenge.

The Sixth formers from The Grange School during the challenge.

The students said: "The hardest part of the challenge was waking up at in the middle of the night and dragging ourselves onto the ergo, which required a lot of willpower, as well as a lot of camaraderie.

"We cheered each other on, and it was the shouts from peers and the staff, on top of some healthy competition, that helped to push us to the final kilometres.

"Little things like staying in time with your friends, or the occasional reassuring look - they do more for your motivation than you would imagine.

"We can’t thank our Head of Year, Miss Huntriss enough for staying up with us for the whole 24 hours, and keeping us organised.

"The team also really appreciated all the staff who joined us on the ergos throughout the 24 hours, such as the PE staff, and even our Assistant Head (Sixth Form), Mr Walker, as well as all those that came down to support us and make the event possible.

"It really was a team effort."

Northwich Guardian: Following double Olympic champion James Cracknell OBE on the screen.

Following double Olympic champion James Cracknell OBE on the screen.

Head of Year Kat Huntriss, who stayed up with the students for the duration of the challenge said: "I have a great deal of admiration for each and every one of the students.

"They all faced their own challenges over the 24 hour period but the support they gave each other and their determination to succeed was phenomenal.

"They were so motivated by visits from staff, and the messages of support from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, James Cracknell OBE and the ZoomErgos community alongside their friends and family.

"It was definitely a weekend that the students will not forget anytime soon and I am incredibly proud of them for not only completing the marathon but for raising such a superb amount for Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

If you wish to donate to their heroic efforts you can do so using the following link: