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Travel to Tokyo goes virtual

Our Families Fund project has made online resources to help children and families still join in the programme despite the current coronavirus restrictions.

15th May 2020

With coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions impacting everyone at the moment, the Travel to Tokyo project has gone online to help keep children and their families active.

Last summer we announced a £2.6 million investment of National Lottery money, from our Families Fund, into the partnership with the British Olympic and Paralympic associations’ Get Set programme.

Aiming to inspire children aged 5-11, and their families, to try new activities together in the run up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the project was set to run in conjunction with schools.

A father and daughter ride their bikes in a park.

But with the majority of children not currently able to go to school, Get Set has modified Travel to Tokyo to allow young people and their families to get active alongside their classmates virtually, and to celebrate their progress online as one school team.

“Through support from the National Lottery, we’re proud to fund the Travel to Tokyo virtual challenge to encourage children and their families across the UK to get active during this period of unprecedented disruption,” said our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth.

"Our Join the Movement campaign has already showcased a number of creative and imaginative ways to get active for the benefit of our physical and mental wellbeing, and the Travel to Tokyo challenge is another creative way for children and families to form great exercise habits that have never been more important.” 

  • How the project works

    Every physical activity – from taking a walk outside to dancing in the kitchen – can be logged online as part of the Travel to Tokyo virtual challenge.

    • Teachers create school teams on the free website
    • Children and their families log activity to their team together
    • Teams are encouraged to meet activity goals in order to win prizes
    • Children and families join athletes on a virtual journey to the Games - encouraged by challenges and milestones along the way
    • Each phase features a different theme, inspired by the stages of an athlete's journey to the Games.
    Read less

With the programme now having moved to be wholly online, families and teachers can access exclusive Team GB and ParalympicsGB educational resources.

These include a free home learning pack with quick 10-minute inclusive activities that require no equipment. And to support teachers with communicating with families during these unprecedented times, a parent engagement toolkit has also been created.

“The mental and physical health benefits of exercise are more important than ever, so we must find new ways of keeping active whilst staying safe at home,” said chairman of the British Olympic Foundation, Neil Townshend.

"We’re proud the Travel to Tokyo virtual challenge can continue to support schools and families in keeping active during these unprecedented times.

“We know the importance of community cohesion and we hope this challenge will create a sense of togetherness, even if virtually, that will help support young people’s physical and mental health.”


The project has a potential reach of more than 300,000 children and half a million family members

In addition to the online resources, Olympic and Paralympic medallists such as Helen Glover, Natasha Bake, Will Bayley and Anthony Ogogo are also on hand through the programme to provide inspirational messages, activities and rewards.

Mike Sharrock, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: “While we are dealing with new challenges, we’re pleased to invite all families across the UK to take part in our Travel to Tokyo virtual challenge and discover fun and creative ways to get moving, through our inclusive activities, while staying apart.”

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