Seven years on from London 2012, young people and families are harnessing the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, to get fit and active together.
As the countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games begin, children and families across England can benefit from a brand new active programme, Travel to Tokyo which has launched on June 18th at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The programme is part of Get Set, Team GB and ParalympicsGB’s youth engagement programme, with £2.6 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England, and support from partners including ukactive.
Travel to Tokyo aims to inspire children aged 5–11 and their families to try new activities and get active together in the run up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. By joining athletes on a virtual journey from London to Tokyo, participants will be in with the chance to win some fantastic prizes as young people work together to reach the December 2020 finish line.
To launch the programme, an all-star cast of athlete ambassadors joined local families in a Japanese-inspired family sports day designed to get everyone moving and learn what Travel to Tokyo is all about.
Joining the event to help celebrate the launch was an all-star cast of athletes including two-time Olympic gold rower Helen Glover MBE, five-time Paralympic dressage champion Natasha Baker MBE, 2016 Paralympic table tennis gold medallist Will Bayley, London 2012 medallist Anthony Ogogo, London 2012 wheelchair basketball Paralympian Abdi Jama and former Paralympic rower turned Nordic Skier Rachel Morris MBE. Also joining the event was Mike Diaper OBE, Director Community Sport at Sport England.
Talking about the programme Helen Glover, said: “Travel to Tokyo is such a good idea because it’s involving young people and their families to get out of their comfort zone and try something new. It’s so nice to see how everyone has come together to enjoy themselves in the run up to Tokyo 2020. It’s brilliant.”
After a quick warm up, young people and their families got the chance to try authentic Japanese games including the business suit relay race, a tug of war and the new Tokyo Tens warm-up activities. Staying true to its aim to get a half a million families engaged across England, the launch day got everyone on their feet including young people, athletes, families, journalists and the MC. Finishing up with some inspiring speeches, the day signalled an exciting start as families took their first steps on their journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
According to recent research carried out by Sport England, 4 in 5 young people are not doing the 60 minutes of daily exercise recommended by the Chief Medical Officer. Sport England’s vision is that everyone in England, regardless of age, background or ability, feels able to take part in sport or activity and to enjoy getting active. Therefore, Sport England has awarded National Lottery Funding to Get Set, the official Team GB and ParalympicsGB youth engagement programme, a grant to inspire primary school children throughout England to explore a range of new family-friendly activities and live healthy, more active lifestyles with the free Travel to Tokyo challenge.
Neil Townshend, Chairman of the British Olympic Foundation said: “It’s great to see the Get Set programme continue to champion healthy and active lifestyles by empowering children and their families across England to take part in physical activities inspired by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Travel to Tokyo is a dynamic and creative way to motivate families to keep active and the British Olympic Foundation is incredibly proud to launch this new initiative inspired by the Olympic Movement and its Values.”