Global step challenge unites the Business School community

The Business School step challenge took place between the 29 April – 5 May 2024.

In partnership with the Get Out, Get Active team at the University of Leeds, the Business School alumni team organised a global LUBS step challenge to encourage the Business School community to come together, become more active and connect with each other.

From bustling city streets to serene countryside landscapes, individuals from 18 different countries, from across the UK to as far as India, Colombia, Malaysia, China and the United States laced up their shoes and embarked on a collective journey of fitness, fun and camaraderie. Alumni from a range of graduating years, from the class of 1970 to the class of 2023 took part in the challenge, along with current students and staff.

The step challenge was an opportunity for participants to capture the beauty of their surroundings on their walks too. Participants showcased their local flora, the colour red and beloved landmarks / landscapes for the photo bonus competition, inspiring creativity and exploration around local areas. Professor Niall Hayes, Deputy Dean, Leeds University Business School shortlisted the photos which were then voted on by the participants.

In just one week, participants collectively walked over 6,000,000 steps, which is more than walking from Leeds to the North Pole. The dedication to walking rather than using public transport saved 185kg of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of a plane journey from Sydney to Melbourne, Australia, which demonstrates the impact of their efforts on reducing their carbon footprint and increasing their fitness levels.

A view of the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. The structure stands tall against a partly cloudy sky, with the river and historic buildings behind.

London, UK

A breathtaking sunrise over Mount Abu in India.

Mount Abu, India

At the end of the challenge there were three winning teams with the most steps:
1) Step Guardiola (806,068 steps)
2) Stepping Out Together (695,814)
3) Red Hot Chilli Steppers (589,054 steps)

The top three individual steppers for the week were:
1) Bill Gerrard (226,160 steps)
2) Adi Sistla (211,448 steps)
3) Ankesh Patel (192,340 steps)

Reflecting on the Step Challenge and the creativity it inspired, Professor Niall Hayes, Deputy Dean of Leeds University Business School remarked, “The step challenge not only encouraged physical activity but it provided a platform for our global community to connect and share their experiences. I enjoyed shortlisting the photos as, not only do we have some talented photographers amongst our alumni,   they showcased the diverse locations of our Business School alumni community”.

Adi Sistla, one of the top steppers for the week, shared his personal journey, “The step challenge coincided with my own weight-loss and fitness journey this year. I had participated in the 2021 edition where I may have averaged 10,000 steps a day. This time, I was determined to up the ante and I walked the most steps that I have ever done in a week (30,000 steps a day) fuelled by the competition from others. This is a great opportunity to network, build community and increase your personal fitness levels and I’m so glad that I participated. Thank you to the Business School alumni aeam for organising this event”.

Inspired by the initiative, alumna Claudia Casallas took the Step Challenge beyond the Business School, replicating the challenge in her workplace, as they all work from home in different parts of the world.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Step Challenge and made it such a success for the fourth year in a row.

The Business School looks forward to hosting similar activities and challenges in the future to strengthen our global alumni community, so keep checking our website for our latest eventsnews and updates and see how you can get involved.