SPORTSAID WEEK 2021

SportsAid Week 2021, supported by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), takes place from 20-26 September and is the perfect opportunity to show your support for the next generation as the charity celebrates its 45th anniversary!

Incredible backstories, top-level performances and outstanding medal successes....have you been inspired by Great Britain's most talented sports stars at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games? Each and every athlete has been on their own unique journey towards representing their country on the biggest stage of all....but a common thread is the commitment, dedication and sacrifice shown by them, and their families, to achieve their ambitions. We are proud to say over 400 members of SportsAid's alumni competing across the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo received financial support, recognition and personal development opportunities from the charity at a critical early point in their careers!

So what about the next generation? Well....they need your help to get there!

We would love you to join us as we strive to raise £45,000 through the #MyMiles Challenge, powered by RBC, during SportsAid Week! We are encouraging our supporters to undertake their own physical activity, either individually or collectively, linked to the numbers 45, 450, 4,500 or 45,000. For example, you could do 45 lengths of your local swimming pool, spend 450 minutes practicing yoga, team up with work colleagues to cover a total of 4,500 miles cycling together, or do 45,000 steps over the week....and seek donations for your efforts!

We are aiming for our supporters to cover a collective total of 45,000 miles during SportsAid Week….your contribution will make a big difference towards reaching that goal!

We will leave the fun and creative ideas down to you, but if you do choose to be particularly ambitious, feel free to extend the period to accommodate this….you may even decide to set up an activity which takes place over 45 consecutive days to help mark our anniversary year! The funds raised for SportsAid through the #MyMiles Challenge will support the country’s brightest sporting prospects as they look to leave behind the difficult conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic and plot their paths towards future successes.

Many currently supported SportsAid athletes will be targeting the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games - but the majority will see competing at future Olympics and Paralympics in Paris, Milano Cortina, Los Angeles - and beyond - as realistic aims. The biggest barrier preventing them from achieving their goals is money to pay for equipment, accommodation, transport and more. Why not join the #MyMiles Challenge for SportsAid Week and help the next generation towards fulfilling their huge potential?

YOU CAN VISIT OUR DEDICATED SPORTSAID WEEK JUSTGIVING PAGE AND LINK YOUR ACTIVITY FOR THE #MYMILES CHALLENGE BY CLICKING ON THE ORANGE 'START FUNDRAISING' BUTTON! PLEASE LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR PLANS BY EMAILING US ON SPORTSAIDWEEK@SPORTSAID.ORG.UK. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!

THE STORY BEHIND SPORTSAID WEEK AND THE #MYMILES CHALLENGE

SportsAid Week first took place in 2016 to celebrate the charity’s 40th anniversary. The initiative was launched as a key fundraising drive to support the next generation of British sporting heroes and has received widespread backing over the years from Olympic and Paralympic superstars including Ellie Simmonds, Adam Peaty and Dina Asher-Smith. 

Each year, SportsAid Week has been a wonderful week of fun and fundraising for the charity with over £175,000 being donated to support our work since the initiative began. We have seen corporate organisations, individual fundraisers, alumni, currently supported athletes, sports clubs, schools, colleges and universities come together to put on a range of activities.

This included bake sales, sports quizzes, fancy dress days, raffles, bucket collections and healthy eating challenges. Many fundraisers also decided to take on sponsored triathlons, bike rides, rows, runs, swims and walks in the inaugural SportsAid Week. This led to the birth of the #MyMiles Challenge for the 2017 edition and it has remained an ever-present since! 

The #MyMiles Challenge is inspired by SportsAid athletes who cover around 45 miles in training every week, alongside school or university, time with family and social lives. We encouraged supporters to undertake physical activity of their own and post their miles through social media to ‘keep them company’….with a collective total of 83,654 miles so far!

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO THE #MYMILES CHALLENGE....JOIN THE MOVEMENT!

GO SOLO OR BUILD YOUR OWN TEAM

First of all, you have an important decision to make….are you undertaking the #MyMiles Challenge individually or building a team of formidable friends, family and colleagues? This may dictate the amount of miles you wish to cover throughout SportsAid Week!

You can feel what it’s like to be a talented young athlete by setting yourself a personal goal and fitting this around your busy schedule….or you may decide this is the perfect opportunity to connect with a wider group and set an ambitious target for you to reach collectively!

CHOOSE YOUR TARGET NUMBER

The beauty of the #MyMiles Challenge is that it’s completely accessible....just put your own spin on the numbers 45, 450, 4,500 or 45,000! You could run a total of 45,000 metres, try 45 different sports, cover 450 miles (in a team) on the rowing machine or do 4,500 push-ups. 

We have seen so many creative ideas over the years from individuals and teams…and they’ve all been inspired by the talented young athletes we support. We’ve put together a few more suggestions to get the juices flowing….but it's a blank canvas so get your thinking cap on!

#MYMILES x45

45 miles is around the distance a SportsAid athlete, on average, will get through in training every single week! Put yourself in their shoes, pick a sport and see how challenging it is across seven days with all your other commitments….you may be grateful for bed time!

#MYMILES TOUR

Take us on a tour of your choosing…in the flesh or virtually! You may want to visit a number of stadiums or hunt down gold postboxes, perhaps within a 45 mile radius, and take selfies at each stop…or you could jump on Zwift and ride through Europe ticking off 45 countries!

BOLT’S BIRTHPLACE

4,500 miles! That’s around the distance from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London to Sherwood Content in Jamaica….birthplace of Usain Bolt! It’s an ambitious total but you can do it with a big enough team! Why not extend to a whole month to complete it or 45 days? 

RACE TO OLYMPIA

It’s nearly 1,500 miles from London to Olympia, Greece – the original site of the Olympic Games! Why not split into three separate teams and see who can complete the distance the quickest? By completing the challenge you would have collectively contributed 4,500 miles! 

FROM OUR OFFICE TO

You may be working from home but this is a popular choice! Stick your office postcode into Free Map Tools, choose your distance and search for a ‘virtual’ end destination. You may find a venue of sporting significance….or get close by to an international office you want to reach!

We are aiming for our supporters to help us cover a collective total of 45,000 miles during SportsAid Week! We will be tracking the number of miles completed so please do keep a check on the distance you cover. For example, if you did decide to do 45,000 steps, make sure to record the mileage too! And, if your activity isn’t easy to record the distance for, such as yoga, archery or judo, we are equating 20 minutes of exercise to one mile.

DECIDE HOW TO DO YOUR MILES

How you choose to support the #MyMiles Challenge is up to you! We are looking for you to take the lead and decide how you would most like to join in. Perhaps you could opt for an Olympic or Paralympic discipline? Running, cycling, swimming and rowing are always popular. How about archery, canoeing, fencing, skiing, table tennis, taekwondo or weightlifting?

Team sports such as netball, hockey, rugby, football and basketball are excellent for getting more people involved. Crossfit, boxercise, yoga and spin are all classes you may like to join at the gym. Walking your dog and actively commuting to work both fit the bill. The distance you cover doesn't have to come via strenuous activity. The Challenge is designed to work for you!

SET UP A FUNDRAISING PAGE

You can set up a fundraising page in advance on JustGiving and encourage donations be made to SportsAid. Any money raised through the #MyMiles Challenge will support talented young athletes in many different ways. It can help to cover training and competition costs, including equipment and transport, and also provides personal development opportunities.

SportsAid athletes receive expert advice through workshops focusing on areas such as nutrition, performance lifestyle management and telling your story through the media. We have offered this support online throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are aiming to raise £45,000 during SportsAid Week....and any donations you receive will make a difference!

YOU CAN VISIT OUR DEDICATED SPORTSAID WEEK JUSTGIVING PAGE AND LINK YOUR ACTIVITY FOR THE #MYMILES CHALLENGE BY CLICKING ON THE ORANGE 'START FUNDRAISING' BUTTON! PLEASE LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR PLANS BY EMAILING US ON SPORTSAIDWEEK@SPORTSAID.ORG.UK. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!

DO YOUR MILES AND KEEP US UPDATED!

It’s Monday 20 September! You have a whole week to complete your challenge but do feel free to do this over a longer period of time if you have set a more ambitious total. We would love you to keep us updated on your progress through social media by posting a video or image using #MyMiles and #SportsAidWeek.…why not join the movement in 2021?!

"IT WAS MY BRIGHT IDEA!"

“We like to support SportsAid as a number of our athletes have been helped by the charity over the years. Usually, this entails getting involved in social media campaigns and inclusion in our newsletters to raise awareness. This year, we thought it would be nice to do the #MyMiles Challenge and, with the Olympics coming up next year, someone (me, sorry!) had the bright idea of covering the equivalent miles from Milton Keynes to Tokyo. We realised that was quite a daunting task - but we were sure our colleagues would rise to the challenge!"

PAUL STIMPSON, TABLE TENNIS ENGLAND

“We actually hit 1,800 miles together in September which was great as we beat our target of 1,4000. Staff covered the miles at all sorts of times - when home from a late night club visit, first thing in the morning or using it as good motivation to get moving at lunch. Everyone was responsible for their own miles. We had spot prizes for hitting certain landmark miles along the way which was good for morale. It was never about who is doing the most but doing it together. I think doing the #MyMiles Challenge has started up really good habits.”

SARAH LAWLER-EDWARDS, THE FA

“My intention and challenge was to complete 100 lengths over five days. Because of my osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, and the impact it has on my overall physical mobility and pain management, I chose this challenge because I cope better in water. I am pleased to announce that I did in fact swim 132 lengths! This was a great achievement for me and has since inspired other mature people to take up the sport of swimming. I do hope my fundraising will help towards assisting a young athlete to strive towards their chosen passion.”

LIZ PERRY, MOTHER OF SPORTSAID ATHLETE SIMEON

“What an amazing time our SportsAid Week fundraiser turned into. We raised £320 for the charity that supports the next generation of sportspeople. Who better to raise funds for them than older people - many of whom are ex-professionals themselves? We had a visiting team from Mellor, Blackburn and a representative from Netball England to also support us. We are more than just a team that gets together two or three times a week. We are a family and the support and generosity from them left me very humbled and thankful to be part of the team.”

TONI MORRIS, LIVE WYRES WALKING NETBALL TEAM (THORNTON YMCA)