Nearly 18,000 people are taking part in Big Pledge – Road to Rio, as the Olympic and Paralympic-inspired challenge reaches its halfway point.
This year the Wiltshire Council challenge sees people take a virtual journey to Rio. The Big Pledge – Road to Rio runs until 29 July. It has challenged participants to complete up to 20 stages and take a virtual journey around the world, including stops at previous Olympic host cities. The journey starts in ‘London’ and finishes at this year’s Olympic host city, ‘Rio de Janeiro.’ This year’s team and individual challenges are: • Road to Rio (Teams only) • Running Challenge (Individuals only) • Cycling Challenge (Individuals only) • Swimming Challenge (Individuals only) • Walking Challenge (Individuals only) • Junior Sports Challenge (Individuals only) • Ultimate Sports Challenge (Individuals/team)
So far, 287,000km has been covered by all those taking part in the different challenges – the equivalent of more than 15 return journeys from Wiltshire to Rio. Young people are also getting involved with 46 local schools taking up the challenge.
Cabinet member for leisure, Jonathon Seed, said: “Young and old from right across the county have been getting in involved in this year’s challenge and we’re really impressed with everyone’s efforts and commitment.
“Our hope is that once this challenge is complete people will continue to keep active, as not only does it help with physical health it also has a really positive impact on wellbeing.
“The Olympic legacy of 2012 continues to thrive here in Wiltshire and we expect the Rio games to capture people’s imagination and I’m sure there will be lots of people wanting to take part in the huge variety of sports and activities that we provide.”
Nicky Brennan is one Wiltshire resident who is taking part in this year’s challenge. Nicky says: “For 2016, I’m really challenging myself by aiming for the Gold in both the swimming and running. This means running an average of 25km per week and swimming 250 lengths per week.
“The 2015 challenge was the catalyst for me to lose weight, this year I am using the Big Pledge challenge to improve my fitness. At the half way mark I am on target with the gym and the pool being used almost every day, not bad for someone who couldn’t even run for 30 seconds a year ago! At least the distance also counts towards the family’s Ultimate Challenge and I’ve even roped in 24 work colleagues to sign up to the full Road to Rio challenge.”
This is the third year of Wiltshire’s Big Pledge which is part of the council’s Legacy programme to improve the health and wellbeing of Wiltshire’s communities. People can still join in the challenge at this stage. Anyone interested should visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/bigpledge for more information