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World Walking - Inverclyde Globetrotters

Inverclyde Globetrotters are a Greenock based gym-based exercise group which tackles long virtual walks for fun and to help them stay healthy.

They have launched their free, fun, simple to use virtual walking website/app which overlays the steps/miles which individuals and groups clock up in the real world on a choice of virtual walks to some of the world’s greatest places.

How It Started

As soon you start walking on a treadmill in a gym you begin staring at the clock willing time to go faster.

So back in February 2008 the members of the class, who average 69 years young, were asked if they fancied walking round the world. It was hoped that such a challenge would encourage them to stay active and not think of exercise as something confined to an hour each week at the gym.

It was also hoped that setting such a challenging, long term goal, which none of the members could accomplish individually, would offer a real sense of achievement.

Luckily, once they had stopped laughing at the very idea of it they decided to have a go and the Inverclyde Globetrotters were born.

Partners Involved

The Inverclyde Globetrotters have greatly appreciated the support, advice, encouragement and inspiration they have received from:

• Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland

• Paths for All

Process

The Inverclyde Globetrotters were formed from a weekly Phase IV cardiac rehabilitation class at Inverclyde Leisure’s Waterfront Complex in Greenock. They operate as a not for profit organisation. The class is now part of the Live Active Exercise Referral Scheme and caters for a wider variety of conditions.

So what’s their approach? It’s very simple. It’s not new. All you need are pedometers or the Inverclyde Globetrotters’ IPhone app, and a sense of adventure and fun.

Each week, the steps from the pedometers were recorded along with the distances walked, cycled and rowed during the class and each week’s progress plotted on a map of the world.

In May 2010, after 117 weeks on the road, having made to Beijing in time for the 2008 Olympics, the Inverclyde Globetrotters arrived back in Greenock having clocked up 30,688 miles.

The Inverclyde Globetrotters are affiliated to Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) and, inspired by their story, CHSS organised a Lunar Trek and invited all of their other affiliated community groups to help the Inverclyde Globetrotters achieve there next goal – to walk 238,857 miles to the Moon. The CHSS Lunar Trek was launched on 1st September 2011 and thanks to around 100 groups and individuals from all across Scotland, the mission was so successful that, having reached the Moon, they decided to walk back home to Earth.

At 21.36 Greenock Mean Time on Friday 13 September 2013, 2 years and 13 days after it was launched, the Lunar Trek module, ig1, landed softly back on Earth to successfully complete the 477,714 mile walk to the Moon and back.

Results and Impact

The Inverclyde Globetrotters have:

• Clocked up (so far!) over 123,000 miles (over 293 million steps) visiting over 100 countries worldwide without ever leaving Greenock.

• Launched their own free, fun, easy to use virtual walking website (and iPhone and Android apps) - worldwalking.org – developed for them by Papertank Ltd., Glasgow and now with over 3,400 registered users.

• Supported NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s first online walking challenge.

• Supported the Scottish Government’s Fit in 14 Campaign.

• Supported the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

• Had lots of fun.

Lessons Learned

Aim high.

What's next for the project?

Using their new craft, World Walking, powered by people around the world, their next mission (code name “Mission (Not) Impossible”), is to walk 50 million miles to Mars to join NASA’s Exploration Rover!

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