AN OLYMPICS legacy project has already raised more than £11,000 for a Dorset disability charity.

A number of local businesses and schools across the county have been taking part in the Gold Challenge during the last 18 months, being sponsored to swim, run, walk or cycle a total of 2012km before the Olympic opening cermony, in aid of Diverse Abilities Plus.

The top three local business fundraisers included Ward Goodman, Inspire Financial Services and Sembcorp Bournemouth Water. Team Goodman Gold from Ward Goodman raised £2,072 alone and were one of the first to run on the 100m Olympic Stadium Track as part of the Gold Challenge in recognition of the company’s fundraising efforts.

Other companies that took part included Princecroft Willis, Marketing Matters, Serchen Interactive and Dorset Volunteers. Diverse Abilities Plus also had two teams taking part.

Pupils and staff from Canford School, Bryanston School, Yarrells Preparatory School, Lilliput First School and Baden Powell and St Peters School, alongside their families, also took part, performing a variety of events including running, jumping, kayaking and cycling to reach their targets.

Gary Schneider, head of sports, at Yarrells, also won the chance to be one of the first to run the Olympic track’s 50m relay race.

Jen Richardson, audit and accounts manager at Ward Goodman said: “We are extremely happy with the amount we raised. The whole team put so much effort in and Diverse Abilities Plus is a fantastic charity that provides a range of assistance, support and education services for young people, as well as adults and their families.”

The charity’s chief executive Mark Powell said: “The 2012km Challenge was a fantastic initiative and we’re very grateful to everyone that took part.

“Everyone had great fun and we raised much needed funds for the charity. We are very pleased to have created some fantastic long-term relationships with many local companies and schools, and look forward to their continued support.”

For more information go to diverseabilities or call 01202 718266.