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Get moving with ‘Challenge 2020’!

Get moving with ‘Challenge 2020’!

Schools across the Group unite to take on physical challenge inspired by the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Schools across United Learning are set to commence ‘Challenge 2020’ – a 20-week project in which students and staff will endeavour to complete an ambitious, physical challenge of their choice based on the theme ‘2020’. 

Inspired by the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, ‘Challenge 2020’ is designed to encourage pupils and staff of all ages to get moving and support one another as they take on new and exciting activities. The challenge is an opportunity for participants to see for themselves the benefits of leading an active lifestyle and fosters collaboration, competition and character across the Group.

Some of the pledges that have made by our central office staff include running 20km per week for the 20 weeks; training to complete a marathon at the end of the 20 weeks; and swimming 2,020m per week for 20 weeks. Jan Shadick, Regional Director at the Group, has pledged to complete 20km of cycling, walking or running in each week of the challenge. 

At North Oxfordshire Academy, Challenge 2020 is a chance to put a recent sports equipment grant from United Learning to great use. Laura Hemmings, PE Subject Leader at the academy said: 
“Over the 20 weeks of Challenge 2020 we pledge to get 2,020 users of the disability sports equipment we have just purchased through the Healthy Pupil Capital Fund.” 

Throughout the duration of the challenge, schools will also be given opportunities to engage with Japanese cultural activities. Our primary schools will be celebrating Challenge 2020 by singing three new songs, written especially for the project by inspirational choral composers Joanna and Alexander L’Estrange. Contributions to the lyrics of these songs have been made by Year 5 pupils from Surbiton High School who have written haiku poetry about sport, perseverance and well-being.

This kind of Group-wide activity is the perfect example of how we strive to deliver an Education with Character across all our primary and secondary schools. This means supporting pupils in facing challenges they find hard, encouraging them to succeed only through persistence and determination, and instilling in them a respect for the people and world around them.  

Shaun Dowling, Head of Sport at United Learning, said: 
“We all know how important it is to lead a healthy and active lifestyle and what research tells us about the positive correlation between physical activity and learning. With the Tokyo Games approaching what better opportunity to get inspired than to take part in a physically ambitious and culturally enriching project like ‘Challenge 2020’.   
“What’s been particularly pleasing is seeing how enthusiastic many of our students, staff and central office team members have been in stepping up to the challenge and setting some really impressive goals. I look forward to seeing how our schools get on over the coming months as they work towards completing their pledges.”

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Posted: Jan 6, 2020,
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