To celebrate the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, Wiltshire Council’s Big Pledge – ‘Road to Rio’ invited local residents to get involved in an activity challenge and improve their health and wellbeing.
Between 4 June and 29 July over 18,000 local people took part. In total participants ran, walked, swam or cycled 779,742km over eight weeks. The challenge gave them the motivation to get moving and the chance to see what a difference exercise can have.
People signed up to take a virtual journey around the world to the 2016 host city of Rio de Janeiro. Individuals, schools and teams completed a 20 stage journey that included stops at previous host cities.
A medal winning performance
Participants chose to complete a bronze, silver or gold distance:
Who took part?
In total 18,211 people across Wiltshire took part
- 887 people signed up for individual challenges
- Whilst over 1,500 others joined teams to take part:
- There were 140 Road to Rio challenge teams (1,413 participants)
- There were 40 Ultimate Sports Team Challenge (197 participants)
15,714 pupils at 47 schools took part
How did our schools get involved?
A total of 47 schools signed up to this year’s Road to Rio challenge. The schools undertook a range of activities to complete their ‘journey’ to Rio including incorporating ‘a mile a day’ into their school day.
While the programme meant that the schools taking part focussed on increasing physical activity, some also used the programme as part of their wider geography and maths lesson planning.
What did teachers tell us?
“We all took part in the Daily Mile- where all children and staff walked briskly/ ran a mile around the school grounds. We held a sports week and the children were able to take part in various activities.” –Churchfields Primary School, Melksham
“We had regular assemblies to guess where we were in the world and pupils were able to have a guess and talk about the country where we currently were after each week, it also gave them incentive to keep going and reach the goal. The children are a lot more active with many now walking to school.”
-Shrewton Primary School, Shrewton
“It was a good chance to get the whole school active and fitted perfectly with the Olympic values. Pupils took part of their normal school day plus pedometers doing a variety of activities including Fencing, Swimming, Running, Sport Day, PE lessons, Tennis, Netball.”
-Pewsey Primary School, Pewsey
“The pupils have been learning about the Olympics. They have studied the history of the Olympics, the underpinning values & principles and about the different range of competitive sports. They pledged to walk at least 1 km 3 times a week prior to lessons and to undertake additional walks during playtime and lunchtimes. They have enjoyed the time together walking and talking to each other and on some mornings listening and dancing to music as they walk! This time has helped children develop their social and emotional wellbeing as they are learning to socialise in a different way than they would at lunchtime or playtime.”
-The Manor School, Melksham
How did the programme work across our Community Areas?
The Big Pledge team collated data for each community area based on Wiltshire Council’s Area Board areas using the postcode of participants.