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Meet our Step Count Champion

This year's spring Step Count Champion was awarded to Stephen Whiston, from Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership. Stephen shared with us what taking part in the challenge meant to him, and how he helped keep his colleagues motivated.

Published: 26/07/2021

Well that was a surprise, "Step Count Challenge 2021" champion award recipient email - wow, "totes did not expect that"!

The Step Count Challenge is a great initiative and on reflection whilst I might be the award winner, it’s actually all about the team/teams who commit to participate to complete the challenge.

My friends and colleagues know I am a mite competitive and when the challenge was first flagged to me in 2017, I was of course delighted to participate and set up a team from across our organisation,  Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care partnership - #abplace2b

Once started on the Step Count Challenge, of course you need to continue year on year.

2020 and 2021 have clearly been the worst of years, but the 2021 Spring Step Count Challenge has also provided much needed support. It is amazing the number of teams who embraced the commitment to get out there (often in splendid isolation - chapeau!!) and log their exercise in all forms.

Claire Higgins took on our Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) Step Count co-ordinator role, and consequently took our HSCP challenge to another more sophisticated level, introducing social media updates, a best photograph prize, best team name (Scrambled Legs) and a number of fiendish emoji quizzes to keep the grey matter honed as well.

My role was the production of a twice weekly HSCP Step Count league board e-mail update with supporting commentary. All of our 23 teams were able to gauge their progress and collectively our achievements as an organisation.  62,434,329 steps is a mind boggling amount.

The league table did engender a spice of competition and banter between teams and it was fantastic to see how team’s league position changed. On our Facebook page colleagues posted photos of their early morning, lunch, evening, night and holiday activities. Everyone was picking up the pace as the weeks went by and all were having fun as well as motivating and encouraging each other.

I was also delighted to be the Team Captain of "How far can we go this time?”, what a team (bias showing). Juggling work, family, home teaching etc - we were just tired before taking a step!  It certainly motivated me to maintain my activity goals and encourage my team members through the Step Count chat.

I have to admit, I am now a fair weather person, over the years the masochistic enjoyment of battling the elements has waned and since we lost our dog...excuses excuses. Lockdown also meant no swimming in our local pool, so a number of my personal training and performance goals were compromised. 

However, the world of Zwift alongside the spur of the Step Count Challenge has solved that problem - I have never looked so good on a bike!

The result was a battery of improvement in my cycling statistics (FTP increased, fastest ascent of the Virtual Mount Ventoux, etc) so much so that in real life and with the warm summer weather I am now the oldest "King of the Mountain" on some of our local hills - I love being a Super Veteran!

We are all looking forward to the autumn 2021 Step Count got to check how the rest of my team is doing on their pre-season training schedule!

The wordle below captured our Argyll and Bute HSCP 2021 spring Step Count Challenge experience.

Got a question about the Step Count Challenge? Get in touch with us at