Nineteen Sidmouth College students completed the Ten Tors challenge last weekend.

They crossed the finish line after hiking either 35 or 45 miles across Dartmoor, carrying all the kit needed to be self-sufficient for two days on their backs.

Sidmouth Herald: One of Sidmouth College's Ten Tors teams after completing the trekOne of Sidmouth College's Ten Tors teams after completing the trek (Image: Sidmouth College)

The college’s two 35-mile teams consisted of Milly, Maddie, Charlotte, Heidi, Joe, Laurence, Ayla, Gracie, Radina, Ronja, Ned and Alastair, all in Year 10. The 45-mile team, all of whom successfully completed the 35-mile route in 2022, consisted of Bronwyn, Harriet, Roman, James, Dan and Tom. Seven Year 11s trained for the 45-mile challenge this year, but there are only six places in a team. Student Sam was so determined to complete the challenge that he joined another school’s 45-mile team who were a person short.

Around 2,500 young people took part in the 2023 challenge organised by the Army, all walking in teams of six. On Saturday, April 29, students were awoken by the institutional Ten Tors alarm, Chariots of Fire, played via the loudspeakers at 5am. Cannons marked the 7am start of the event. Teams have until 5pm on Sunday to complete their set route, going via all checkpoints across the moor.

Sidmouth College has a longstanding tradition of participation in the Ten Tors, with continuing success for its teams. Training for the tough physical challenge, which is also a test of determination and teamwork, begins in October of the year before the event, and involves months of effort both in school and on the moor throughout the winter months as students work together on their navigation, fitness and team skills.

Martyn Dudley, one of the 2023 Team Managers, said: “The students have been a real pleasure to work with during the months spent training for Ten Tors. Over the event weekend, they were a credit to themselves and the College. They should be very proud of all they have achieved in training building confidence, developing map skills, demonstrating sheer determination and working together as a team, all celebrated as they enjoyed the event at the weekend. We look forward to running Ten Tors again for the 2024 event with new faces and some old faces returning to take up the 45 or 55-mile challenge.”

The students’ participation in Ten Tors is made possible by a committed team of adults. Sidmouth College would like to thank the support team including volunteers Andy, Gabe, Geoff, Jen, Josh, Martyn, Matt and Nick for their time and expertise, and to staff members Mrs Clark, Miss King, and Mr Richards who also give up their free time to support the students. Much of the work goes on in the background from hours of admin and sorting kit, to 4.30am starts to set up base camp ready for the final weekend. The college is also grateful to the support students receive from their families.

Sidmouth Herald: Sidmouth College's Ten Tors teams 2023Sidmouth College's Ten Tors teams 2023 (Image: Sidmouth College)

Sidmouth College Ten Tors has recently received funding to support student participation, staff qualifications and to buy much needed new equipment. Sidmouth Town Council, the Alpkit Foundation and the WPA Foundation have provided financial support, which the college said will make a huge difference.