Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.
To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device. In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).
While people often comment that the past year has just run away, for football coach Olly Stephen, aged 35, that was certainly true, running at least 5km every day to raise money for Fort William FC’s U12/13 squads.
Snow, rain or shine, hot or cold, Olly pounded his way across Lochaber for 366 days (2020 being Leap year), coupled with push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and crunches, completing his challenge as planned on the last day of year.
With support from football fans, both locally and across the globe through crowdfunding, Olly has raised a total, to date, of more than £1,700 to help support the keen young players – his son Jack included – in all their activities.
He said: ‘Lots of people that give up their time free to help run the club and train the boys at all levels.
‘There are always financial challenges that the club face: being so far geographically away from the other teams we play; kit for the boys to train and play in; along with other training equipment, and not least the charges for hire of the facilities such as an Astro pitch, that can really add up.’
Running every day, even when on holiday, Olly actually ran 2,662Km (1,654 miles), a third more than he intended and equivalent to 700 times up and down Ben Nevis, which towers over his Caol house.
About half way through he had to give up the ‘extras’ after injuring his wrist, but carried on running, even wearing leg splints on a few occasions, without a pause.
‘This has most certainly been a labour of love, with my family helping out frequently,’ he added.
‘I’m glad I managed to complete it and at this moment, I don’t think I will ever run again.’