UK teachers Getting Set for the Road to Rio

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Get Set’s Road to Rio Challenge is calling on schools to take up an inspirational challenge: get active and imaginative by travelling the full distance from London to Rio - 9,298km in total. Participants can use the Road to Rio app, website or other tools to track any kind of physical activity. This could be running, swimming, walking or cycling – it could even be the distance travelled during a game of dodgeball or the walk to and from school. This is part of Get Set’s commitment to a fitter, healthier, sportier Britain, getting involved with events such as Olympic Day.

The challenge is designed as a team-building activity encouraging 7-19 year olds to work together and get active. Participating schools can easily enter the minutes of activity on the Road to Rio website. Schools are also encouraged to share their achievements via the Get Set website or on social media using the hashtag #GSRoadtoRio.

“The Road to Rio Challenge is a brilliant opportunity to launch the Rio 2016 Games, which many schools will be using as a topic in the summer term,” said Ally Sheldon, a PE coordinator for 12 Primary schools around Yorkshire and the North East, who was interviewed for the initiative. “It’s a fun programme allowing us to add extra physical activity into the day in a way that is engaging for all pupils.

“Everyone involved feels like they have played a small part in the journey. This platform has allowed us to work hard as a school to try and achieve something special. The school appoints Young Leaders to input the data and track progress on our map, we then share this information weekly in assembly. Children are trying to do more both at school and outside of school in order to achieve their goal.”

Participating schools can win exclusive rewards such as Team GB and ParalympicsGB sports kit, badges of achievement and even personal messages from athletes. Schools who travel the furthest stand a chance of winning once-in-a-lifetime visits from Olympic or Paralympic athletes.

Road to Rio is also offering free, curriculum-linked learning resources suitable for whole school activities, assembly resources, lesson plans and games. Subjects covered include PE, PSHE, Citizenship, Geography, Science, Literacy and Maths.

Ally continued: “I’m involved with a few schools that only have a small number of pupils so normally it’s difficult for them to take part in sporting activity. But Get Set’s Road to Rio allows the whole school to be involved, including parents and teachers – it’s good to get the whole family involved and working together.

“Recently, a teacher completed the Manchester Marathon, so we added in her kilometres, and if a child has played football for an hour with his dad then we’ll add the dad’s distance too! We then track that progress for parents on our Facebook page. The children enjoy both the physical activity and the process of tracking, which we share with the rest of the school.

“We discuss the Values regularly and they’re now part of the school ethos, particularly things like friendship and courage. We have a display called “Give it a Go Club” at the school entrance, showing all the Values and giving children an opportunity to share their achievements – they can bring in their photos, medals and awards to display. These achievements are also celebrated in a weekly assembly when the pupils tell their peers what they have been up to.

“We want pupils to be aware that they can succeed by trying new things, improving and working together. They’re meeting the same values as a successful athlete, which can be very inspirational and confidence boosting. I think our pupils are more aware of their actions and are more willing to give things a try.”

Visit www.getset.co.uk/road-to-rio for more information.

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