I spend a lot of my time hurtling down a freezing cold ice track at 90mph. Is that the same for most of you?
I’m guessing not.
As a skeleton racer, living an active lifestyle has helped me get where I am today. Exercise is a crucial part of my daily routine. But I know that not everyone can – or wants – to be a performance athlete! Getting fit and staying active is massively important, but if you’re not doing it as a career it’s hard to fit it in, particularly when lifestyles today are so hectic. That’s why we need events like European Week of Sport, that make it as easy as possible for people to get active and inspire them to take up new sports.
I was absolutely delighted when Sport England asked me if I wanted to be one of the European Week of Sport Ambassadors for the UK.
It’s fantastic to see the UK among those countries leading the way – as I write this, I hear there are more than 150 European Week of Sport events planned for 7-13 September which will take place across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
I’ll be at the #BeActive launch reception in London on Monday 7 September, kicking off what promises to be a great week and previewing all the fantastic things that are planned. We’ll be screening the UK’s fab new #BeActive video and hoping to get people excited about sport.
Then on Saturday 12 September, I’ll be heading to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the #BeActive festival which is being hosted on the South Lawn by StreetGames (working with Sport England, LLDC, London Sport and Active People Active Park).
It’s a multi-sport festival that gives people of all ages and abilities the chance to try more than 20 different sports and activities including boxing, table tennis, badminton, football, canoeing and athletics.
Since winning Olympic gold in Sochi 18 months ago, I’ve visited nearly 100 schools across the country, trying to encourage young girls in particular, to take up more sport and activity and helping to spread the message that we are all different and should embrace our own individual body shapes.
I know when I was growing up having healthy role models I could look up to really helped me and I hope that the European Week of Sport will encourage more people to get active.
Schools across the country will be holding days dedicated to health and fitness and, importantly, children will be given a fun planner to help them stay active beyond the day.
There is also an array of multi-sport sessions and taster days going on across the country that anyone can go to.
I really hope you’ll all find a way to take part and #BeActive during the week in one way or another, whether that’s coming along to the #BeActive festival or finding an event near you and getting involved.
Let’s make this first European Week of Sport one to remember, and let’s all celebrate how great it is to #BeActive.
Lizzy Yarnold MBE
European Week of Sport Ambassador for the UK
Skeleton Olympic, European and World Champion