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University of Hull and Team GB kickstart Olympic countdown

As the countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games starts, the University of Hull and Team GB are helping families to get fit and active together at a special sports event on campus on Saturday 8 February.

More than 200 visitors – primary school children and their parents/carers, brothers and sisters – will have the chance to get inspired in the run-up to the Olympic Games by taking part in a range of activities at the Travel to Tokyo event, hosted and promoted by the University to schools in Hull.

Travel to Tokyo is a nationwide movement celebrating how to get fit as a school or a family and provides a range of activity ideas and opportunities that can be used in school or at home. Sport England has joined forces with Team GB and ParalympicsGB to inspire 5-11 year olds across England, their schools, and their families to get active in the run up to the Tokyo Games.

Steve Curtis, Partnership and Project Manager at the Allam Sport Centre at the University, said: “I can remember the excitement of watching the Olympic Games when I was growing up, especially Barcelona 92, with Linford Christie, Sir Steve Redgrave with Matthew Pinsent and Chris Boardman. It can be really inspirational for young children to witness the level of motivation and passion it takes to succeed in sport at the highest level. We hope that by offering this event for children and their families in the region – that they will enjoy trying new fitness activities together, and also experience some of the buzz that is already building in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

“The University has made a major investment in our Allam Sport Centre to provide some of the best sports facilities in the country – and we are keen for our local community to benefit from these – as well as our staff and students. We look forward to welcoming families at this special event.”

As a partner of Team GB, the University is looking forward to sharing the excitement of the build-up to the Games in Tokyo this summer at a local level, giving schools, local residents, students and staff the opportunity to join together as supporters and really get behind their national team.

The family event, which follows a series of Team GB appearances on campus where athletes have shared their personal goal-setting and medal-winning experiences with students, will encourage children and their parents to try new activities and kick-start a more active lifestyle ahead of the Olympic 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.

Tim Ellerton, Commercial Director, British Olympic Association, said: “The Olympic Games has shown time and again it can inspire people to try new sports or simply to get active. This is a great initiative from the University of Hull and a nice opportunity for families to enjoy sport, try new activities together and build their excitement ahead of Tokyo 2020.”

Activities at the event, which will take place at the Allam Sport Centre from 10am to 2pm, will include hurdles, a relay race, long jump, throwing as well as a boxing circuit involving burpees, squats and skipping.

Children and their families will be able to take advantage of coach transport provided by the University from a range of schools in Hull, including: Collingwood Primary School, Rokeby Park Primary School, St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School, St Mary’s Queen of Martyrs Voluntary Catholic Academy and Estcourt Primary Academy.

Anna Cartwright, Year 6 class teacher at Collingwood Primary School, said:

“We at Collingwood are really excited about this fantastic opportunity with the University of Hull and Team GB and are delighted to be taking part. It is lovely for the children to not only spend quality time with their families, but also develop their physical skills whilst keeping fit, making new friends, boosting self-esteem and learning to be a team member.”

Nathan Ullah, Year 6 class teacher at Estcourt Primary Academy, said: “When we received the invitation for this event it was perfect timing. The Olympics can act as a fantastic stimulus to a range of activities across the curriculum. With the national exposure the games will receive in the press, it will be great for our children to feel connected to the events in Tokyo.”

The official Travel to Tokyo programme is free to use, allows pupils to track their activity and provides schools with the chance to win fantastic prizes and money-can’t-buy opportunities including visits from Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes. Schools are invited to sign up and create a class team. Schools will receive a Tokyo Takeoff pack containing posters, banners, bunting, flags, and stickers.

Sign up to the Travel to Tokyo programmes for schools here.

The University of Hull was announced as the first University to be an Official Partner of Team GB, in January 2019.The exclusive partnership covers a six-year period and includes the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

It includes opportunities that will benefit the University of Hull’s students, staff and communities, as well as presenting opportunities for joint research and enterprise projects, delivered by the University in support of Team GB. This will include participating in Team GB events, developing courses and CV-boosting opportunities such as work experience and volunteering.  

The unprecedented partnership is borne out of a synergy between the University’s ambitions and beliefs and those of Team GB.

Whether it’s in a lecture theatre or on the field, a lab or on the track or in an operating theatre or the ring, our joint belief is that everyone can achieve extraordinary things.

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