LONDON YOUTH GAMES LAUNCH VIRTUAL SPRING RUN TO HELP ENCOURAGE YOUNG LONDONERS BACK TO SPORT

29th Apr 2021
Edward Roff

London Youth Games is launching Virtual Spring Run to help encourage young Londoners back to sport

With lockdown measures lifting, Virtual Spring Run will provide young Londoners with the opportunity to get active and represent their boroughs as they prepare for a return to face-to-face sport. The competition will begin on 10th May and run until 24th May.

London Youth Games believes sport is a right for all so has created an inclusive running event with a variety of distances to ensure accessibility for all young Londoners.

Participants can choose a distance between 0.5km and 5km to run. Their distance will count towards a borough total. The borough that runs the furthest collective distance by the end of the two-week competition will be crowned Virtual Spring Run champions.

Whether entering as an individual, an Athletics club, a school, or a community group, the competition is open to all Londoners aged 18 or under. Distances can be completed running, walking, using a wheelchair, a frame, or with assistance.

Individual prizes are also up for grabs as part of The 3km Challenge. Participants wishing to enter The 3km Challenge must submit a time for their 3km distance. The fastest male and female entrants will be awarded with some Nike running swag.

Virtual Spring Run builds on the success of the London Youth Games’ Virtual Cross Country event that took place in November, and follows a series of virtual activities organised during the third lockdown, including the Virtual Inclusive Games, Virtual Dance and School Games Fitness Challenges, which attracted over 80,000 entries.

Andy Dalby-Welsh, CEO of LYG, said: “We know the positive impact that sport and physical activity can have on young people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Following the success of our Virtual Cross Country event and other virtual activities, we have developed an inclusive running event to help young people transition back to sport on their own terms.”

For more information about Virtual Spring Run, please visit: https://www.londonyouthgames.org/virtual-games/

Watch some of the challenges:

The Chair of London Youth Games, Mickela Hall-Ramsay, said: “The Virtual Games have played a hugely important role in keeping young people active, engaged, confident and resilient during this incredibly confusing and difficult period in their lives.

“We know they have helped to reduce feelings of isolation and frustration, and prevented young people from potentially ‘dropping out’ of sport and physical activity. As restrictions are relaxed and the vaccine programme rolled out, it’s so important that we keep working hard to keep young Londoners involved in sport and physical activity so that it can play its part in tackling a wide range of social issues.

“From helping to reduce unemployment and anti-social behaviour, to increasing mental wellbeing and educational attainment, sport really can be the secret weapon to help get our communities back on an even keel.”

London Youth Games has been working with London Sport to deliver the Virtual Inclusive Games through Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund, which was created to help reduce the negative impact of Covid-19 and the widening inequalities in sport and physical activity.

London Sport’s Deputy Director of Operations, Alex Gibbons, said: “London Sport is delighted by the incredible impact of the Virtual Inclusive Games over the last three months. The Games perfectly embodies the ethos of the Tackling Inequalities Fund, reaching deaf and disabled young Londoners most adversely affected by the pandemic, and providing a variety of opportunities for them to have fun and stay active.

“We’re committed to continuing our partnership with London Youth Games and will work together to learn from the many successes of the Virtual Inclusive Games, which will help us reach and engage many more deaf and disabled young people across the capital.”