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Geoff Hurst leads celebrities backing the return of Join the Movement

The award-winning campaign will help people find ways to be physically active while national coronavirus restrictions are in place.

12th November 2020

Sir Geoff Hurst leads a host of celebrities backing the return of our Join the Movement campaign, which aims to help and inspire people to be physically active while coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions are in place.

The World Cup winner has been joined by Olympic champion Sally Gunnell, England rugby player Rachael Burford, TV presenters Anthea Turner and Kirsty Gallacher, fitness trainer Lucy Wyndham-Read and Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown in encouraging people to be active in any way that works for them this winter.

A Join the Movement campaign poster showing a mother and daughter getting active

“I have long championed the physical and mental health benefits of regular exercise and this lockdown I will doing my best to continue my routine, to stay as active as I possibility can,” explained Sir Geoff.

“I’ll be getting out the house every day for a 40-minute walk around my local park, as well as 20-minute Joe Wicks workouts six days a week. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how fit you are or the equipment you have access to, there is an activity out there for everyone.”

Join the Movement is our award-winning national campaign that uses National Lottery funding to inspire people to stay and get active despite restrictions designed to counter coronavirus limiting the types of activities that can take place.

Keeping fit and healthy, mentally and physically, has never been more important than it is now but the darker, colder days mean many people may struggle to exercise in the way and to the extent they normally would.

Join the Movement offers fun and free ways to get active – both indoors and outdoors – on its online campaign hub.

There’s a daily timetable of fitness activities and an extensive range of workout options from organisations such as the NHS, and popular fitness brands and influencers such as Les Mills on Demand, Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) and FiiT.

Positive impact

Within two weeks of the campaign launching in March, there had been more than 650,000 visits to the campaign's online hub.

Today’s relaunch will be supported by paid media with social and digital advertising, while the campaign will focus on the activity that’s still possible during the restrictions, such as walking, cycling, running and a wealth of fitness and strength workouts.  

We’re also asking the public to share social media images of the creative ways they’re getting active to help inspire others by adding the social media handle @JointheMovement.

The government’s restrictions place no limit on the amount of time that can be spent exercising outdoors, or the number of times a person can exercise each day. 

People are also allowed to get active with members of their household, or with one person from another household - if they're social distancing, making exercise an opportunity to keep up the social interactions that are so valuable to our mental health.

However, our extensive research into the nation’s relationship with activity has revealed that there's a strong sense of fatigue over the pandemic, and this is having a negative effect on motivation to be active, showing the campaign is needed more than ever.

I have long championed the physical and mental health benefits of regular exercise and this lockdown I will doing my best to continue my routine, to stay as active as I possibility can

Geoff Hurst

Former England footballer

People who are managing to be active say they're motivated by the following tips and advice, which will be at the forefront of campaign messaging:

  • Going at your own pace
  • Making small incremental steps each day
  • Having someone to hold you accountable or checking in
  • Celebrating your achievements. 

Tim Hollingsworth, our chief executive, said while we recognise the need for the restrictions, we'll support people to keep active by focusing on what we can do and not just on what we cannot.

“With running, cycling, walking and fitness still all possible, we’re bringing back our campaign to help people maintain their physical health and support their mental wellbeing,” he explained.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said it was critical the nation stayed “match-fit” as we head into a critical winter.

“Just because we're living under new restrictions it doesn't mean we can't stay active for the good of our mental and physical health,” he added.

"I urge everyone to ‘Join the Movement’ and get involved with Sport England's campaign, whether that's doing Couch to 5K in your local park, trying online yoga or a family YouTube workout – there really is something for everyone."

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