Seven-year-old rider completes nearly 800,000 steps in February to raise £10,000

  • A seven-year-old rider has raised over £10,000 for her local air ambulance by completing more than three quarters of a million steps in February.

    Hattie Rowe battled on despite injury to a total of 792,731 by Sunday (28 February). She had aimed for 750,000 steps, and to raise £500 for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, but surpassed both goals.

    Her father Nelson told H&H his wife Massey has previously raised money for the charity with a summer music festival, but as this was lost to Covid last year, she and Hattie came up with the idea of a lockdown steps challenge.

    “Hattie started at a million steps but I suggested that might be a bit much,” Mr Rowe said.

    “I said to Massey I’m not sure this is doable’; it was an average of 26,785 every day.”

    Mr Rowe said each day’s count was taken from Hattie’s child’s FitBit monitor, and her daily exercise included cycling and riding her ponies Cody and Monty.

    “We did one Sunday walk of 27,000 steps; five hours of straight walking,” he said. “She did the odd 30,000 day but keeping that many up every day is quite a commitment. She took some encouraging now and again but she never complained.”

    Mr Rowe said Hattie had to deal with some injuries, including falls from both her mother’s bike and her pony, the latter of which left her with a split chin that needed to be “stuck back together”.

    “She had a couple of low-count days but at the weekend, having reached her total, she kept going round and round the barn and ended up with 50,383, her highest total of the month,” he said.

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    “It’s amazing. I’ve had to do some of it in the dark and the freezing cold, but she’s done every single step. She fell asleep in her tea some evenings but she absolutely smashed it.”

    On her fundraising page, which is still open for donations, Hattie said: “I am doing this challenge to raise much-needed funds for the air ambulance. I love riding my pony and often ride in places that aren’t accessible by road, therefore if an accident occurs we may need the air ambulance. Please sponsor me to help this great charity.”

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