CHILDREN from a youth football club are hoping to raise money for charity by virtually travelling more than 2,000 kilometres to every Premier League football stadium.

Halstead Town Youth Football Club has set up a challenge to raise money for Colchester Zoo and to keep its players active during the lockdown.

Children’s teams from the under-eights to the under 16s are exercising for a total of 2,072km – the distance it would take to visit all 20 Premier League stadiums.

Parents are also taking part, with more than 200 people making up the 20 different teams in the competition.

The can all walk, run or cycle as they spend an hour a day racking up the miles for their team.

The distance is measured from the most southern stadium, starting at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium and ending at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park.

Club secretary Carl Pearse said: “The challenge started leaving our Milbank Stadium on May 1 and will last for the whole of May.

“Already most teams have completed in excess of 500km which means most of them have reached the midlands via the south coast teams, with the furthest team is just outside Liverpool.

“Normally we like to have a fun day around this time of year, but obviously we can’t do it because of the lockdown.

“The season has also been suspended so we thought it would be a good idea to keep the players active during the break, so that they’re all ready to go once the lockdown is lifted.

“We also encourage the parents to take part too. With kids riding round on their bikes, it’s a good idea to have a parent nearby and it helps them keep fit too.

“We had already tried something like this with the senior team.

“We set them a challenge to run about 15 to 16km a week which worked out as a trip to the San Siro in Milan.

“The response and distance reached has been better than we thought and we might extend the virtual trip into Europe, with the possibility of visiting some of the Champions League grounds such the Nou Camp in Barcelona.”

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