London: The UK government has thrown its weight behind a national activity campaign to encourage two million Britons to get fit for 2012 and raise billions for charity in the process.
The Great Activity Revolution has signed up Government, local authorities, charities, and a host of celebrities and sports stars to back the campaign, which over the next four years will develop a huge network of nationally available sporting events.
The campaign is designed to encourage mass participation in a range of easily accessible activities including running, swimming, cycling, walking, gym and dance – in the process raising huge amounts for charity. Most importantly, the campaign will tackle the health issues caused by inactivity.
Former Olympian Brendan Foster was in London to launch the Great Activity Revolution at an event attended by the Minister for the Olympics, Tessa Jowell, and Gerry Sutcliffe, Minister for Sport.
Brendan said: Inactivity is a ticking time bomb which puts the health of our entire nation under threat. The UK is less fit than it has ever been and when research shows our children have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, we simply have to do something.
The Great Activity Revolution is based on the key motivator for changing behaviour towards activity and participation is the challenge of an event. The campaign website provides individuals with all the tools they need to find an event to enter and all the preparation aids and advice to help them through their training.
Brendan added: By encouraging people to enter mass participation events they can have fun getting fit and also raise money for a number of our charity partners.
Tessa Jowell said: Lots of people want to get fitter but the hardest thing is often putting on your trainers and taking that first crucial step to turn a wish into a reality. That’s why Brendan’s imaginative campaign is so terrific, motivational and simple and will be so effective.
The Great Activity Revolution has gained the support of Manchester as its lead partner city. Bosses have pledged to back the initiative and encourage people to take to Take to the Streets over the next four years, hosting an exciting series of launch events.
The launch coincides with the introduction of the new Great Activity website www.greatactivity.org
This makes it easy for people to Join The Revolution. It contains everything people of all abilities will need to know about training and preparation for free and offers a brand new digital Training Room facility which features personalised interactive training plans, detailed advice, an extensive event search engine, a public forum and an individual blog.
Users can also gain free access to a unique software package called the Great Trainer. Downloadable to a mobile phone, it turns it into a personal trainer tracking routes and giving the user audio feedback on the distance covered, pace, time taken and calories burnt. It then uploads the info to a personal page on the website.