RSCE Step Challenge Delivers More Than Just Exercise

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14 Aug 2020

RSCE Step Challenge Delivers More Than Just Exercise

Mark Kaheru

Well into the 4th month of working from home, the Regional Service Centre Staff Welfare team initiated yet another stepping challenge. This time the challenge, despite being the same two-week duration, was rather different as it was enriched with number of challenges.

Staff from the entire Entebbe Support Base (ESB) were asked to form teams of 5 and to choose a team captain and register via Microsoft Teams. From the onset, the step challenge seemed similar to the previous one. Then came the bonus challenges, which made all the difference. They were more interesting and very engaging for the staff.

Mirbek Dzholbunov, Programme Management Officer in the Office of the Chief RSCE, took part in both challenges and had this to say about the challenges. “I joined the first challenge a bit late but our team’s effort kept improving and we were catching up with other teams. From a general point of view, the second step challenge had more bonus point options which added some color to it and also gave some teams an opportunity to catch up with the rest.”  

 One of the bonus challenges required staff to provide three   statements about themselves, two factual and one fiction. Team members were to vote and decide which was the fictional description in order to earn bonus points. This particular exercise helped bond the teams as members got to know two new things about each other.

Another bonus challenge asked teams to double the number of steps in a day from 6,000 to 12,000. As if this was not hard enough considering members were walking withing their compounds, another challenge did not put a limit but asked members to make as many steps as they could combined and the team with the most steps would get the all decisive top points. Teams took the latter bonus challenge seriously as we saw one team of five average 40,000 steps each in one day!

Felix Mugumya, Client Service Officer at the RSCE did not take part in the first RSCE step challenge. He did take part in the second and remarked that “I was committed and motivated to the 2nd challenge given its benefits to my personal wellbeing.  I carved out a short but effective route which enabled me to achieve the daily targets by splitting it into morning and evening sessions without venturing out in open roads and public spaces.”

Through an effective use of his strategy, Felix always managed to make at least 15000 steps a day during the lockdown when circumstances have permitted. He added that “It has significantly improved my physical and mental wellbeing and I am looking forward to the next challenge.  It may be worthwhile to design it so it becomes a life-style for most staff and a once in a while challenge.”

Mirbek agreed with Felix on the continuity of the challenge, “This initiative is good for staff health and for team building. We should continue this as God knows how long this lockdown will last. The Challenge kept me energized. Some days when I was feeling lazy, I had to force myself to meet my daily target so that I do not let my team down and besides, a healthy sprit lives in a healthy body.” He said.

The challenge also saw the number of teams increase from 15 to 18 meaning 90 staff members showed interest in the challenge. Also of note is that the challenge was open to all staff at the ESB which made for a more interesting event.

Elise Aaland, the RSCE Welfare Officer responsible for administering the challenge was very pleased with the second edition which she feels was a much more engaging event. A list of all teams can be found at this link: RSCE Stepping Challenge Lists

“It was a pleasure facilitating the second edition of the Step Challenge, this time around we were able to extend the initiative to all 12 tenants of Entebbe Support Base and therefore had an increased number of the staff participating. The challenge offers a healthy distraction through elements of competition and encourages participants to prioritize their health and well-being. This has turned out to be particularly important when working from home, as reaching 6,000 steps when confined by the COVID-19 situation, requires planning and time management. The dedication and team spirit that I have observed throughout the step challenge has been inspiring, and I have already started working on how we can develop this further in the next step challenge.”

As we wait for the RSCE Stepping Challenge 3.0, congratulations to all teams for finishing the challenge at to end with advice from Felix Mugumya, “RUN | RELIEVE | REBUILD | REJUVENATE”.