PUPILS climbed the height of a Borneo mountain without leaving Sunderland – in a bid to fund a trip to the real thing.
Youngsters from Grindon Hall Christian School took turns to carry a 10kg rucksack up and down the steps of the Winter Gardens a thigh-aching 546 times.
The event was part of a drive to raise cash for a trip to climb south-east Asia’s highest peak, Mount Kinabalu, in Borneo next year.
The pupils, aged 14 to 16, will also work with young people with learning difficulties during their trip.
Fourteen-year-old Sam Chadwick organised the event.
He said training in the Winter Gardens was a chance to get used to exercising in the sort of humid conditions the team will face on their trip.
“This is probably our biggest challenge,” he said.
“Today is mainly about training and team-building, but it is also a chance to do a bit of fund-raising.”
The youngsters needed to raise almost £4,000 each to fund their trip.
“We have all raised differing amounts,” said Sam.
“I am about halfway there – as soon as I learned I had the chance to go on the trip, I said I would do any job I could to raise the money.
“It would be wonderful if there were any businesses in Sunderland that might be able to sponsor us.”
Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland Council’s cabinet member for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, praised the school’s efforts.
“It is wonderful to see the children raising money for what will be a fantastic trip in such an unique way.
“I wish them the best of luck for this challenge and hope their trip to Borneo next year is successful.
“Not only will it be a great experience for them all, they will also be helping to promote the city.”