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19th April 2023

The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) supports young adult mental health and fitness in the UK through the delivery of their annual BRIT Challenge. Universities, colleges, and Students' Unions around the UK unite with BRIT every year by organising challenges. St Brendan’s Vice Principal Alexandra Moruzzi was amongst those who successfully completed the 2023 BRIT Challenge. We caught up with Alexandra earlier this week to find out how she completed her BRIT challenge and what her plans are for the 2024 challenge!

How did you hear about the challenge?

I was introduced to Phil Packer (the founder and CEO of BRIT), we met via Teams to discuss his charity and how educational providers like St Brendan’s can get involved. The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) supports young adult mental health and fitness through the annual BRIT challenge. This year’s aim was to do something involving the number ‘23’ as the challenge took place between 23rd Jan – 23rd March 2023. Activities were not prescribed, so anyone taking part could design their own challenge such as reading for 23 minutes a day, undertaking a 23-hour art project or walking for 23 minutes a day. I really liked the fact it was an all-inclusive event and meant anyone could take part.

What made you want to sign up for the challenge?

Listening to Phil was a real inspiration – there were no constraints such as raising lots of money, although you can if you wish. The key takeaway is to focus on well-being for that small number of minutes each day during the challenge.

Why did you choose rowing?

I currently run quite a lot already and wanted to try something different. I have recently taken up erging on a rowing machine at home and this challenge offered me the ease of doing it from home every day – I was trying to reduce as many barriers to completing it as possible! I, therefore, chose to row 2300 metres every day for 60 days. It doesn’t sound like a lot but fitting it around everything else meant I needed to carefully plan my time.

How did you fit around your personal life?

I created a timetable setting each day of the challenge and listed any other things I knew were already in the diary – examples included; childcare, running, work events and holidays. I was then able to work out in advance where I would need to do more than one row to ensure I stayed on top of the challenge. I went away for 6 days in February so had to complete those sessions in advance of leaving – quite a lot for one day! The only thing I hadn’t planned on was being unwell and an Ofsted inspection in my final week – but I’m pleased to say I still got it done.

What was your biggest motivation throughout the challenge?

I set myself mini challenges, so as I could feel myself getting fitter and stronger, I decided to try and complete the 2300m row in under 10 minutes. I managed it quite a few times! 

Would you like to participate in the 2024 challenge?

Yes, definitely, but this time, I’d love to get more people from the St Brendan’s community involved. The theme will be ‘24’ next year so between 24th Jan and 24th March 2024 – we can create our own challenges setting target distances or achievements. I’d also like the College to raise money for charity as part of the challenges to support the social action work which we do every year with a variety of charities. I haven’t decided what to do next year but would really like to be part of a team challenge.

As a College we work hard to support our students and staff with their mental health struggles and so it makes perfect sense for us to take part in the 2024 BRIT Challenge. If you are interested in taking part – please complete this form to register your interest (this is open to St Brendan’s students and staff only).

You can access the form here!