Students display grit and determination aplenty in annual endurance challenge

Intrepid King’s Ely students set a new record time in this year’s Martin Doyle Endurance Challenge.

The gruelling and fiercely-contested timed event pits teams of two King’s Ely Senior students from each House against each other in a physically challenging combination of running, swimming, canoeing, climbing, slack-lining and an assault course.

The annual competition was spearheaded in memory of Kit Martin-Doyle, one of the founders of the Ely Scheme. While most independent schools have an outdoor pursuits programme, the Ely Scheme is both unique and central to the whole King’s Ely experience, as young people are given tangible opportunities to push themselves to achieve beyond anything they ever thought possible.

The Ely Scheme aims to build important life skills that cannot always be taught in the classroom and the Martin Doyle Endurance Challenge inspires students to come out of their comfort zone and face a host of physical pursuits in a controlled environment – including a 5km run, a 3km canoe, climbing, slacklining, an assault course, a 100m swim and a memory test. The total time is then taken for each team of two.

This year’s winners were Withburga House, made up of Lucy Lott and Grace Morris, with a time of 1 hour 28 minutes and 33 seconds, and School House, made up of Charlie Watson and Alex Scarborough, with a record-setting time of 1 hour 12 minutes and 42 seconds

Congratulations not just to the winners but to all of the students who competed this year – Emma Maris, Mimi Hughes, Rebecca Daniel, Emily Tomkins, Rahera Greatrex, Natsuko Noguchi, Rhys Phillips, George Jobe, Joseph Beeney, George Collier, Robert Dunlop-Brown and Callum Hall.

Principal of King’s Ely, Sue Freestone, said: “I marvel at the fitness and grit of these young people for whom I have profound respect. Well done indeed!”

To find out more about the Ely Scheme, and other unique opportunities at King’s Ely, please visit

Press release from King’s Ely

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