Paralympian ‘PATH TO PARIS’ Ambassador. CHRIS Hunt Skelley MBE, gold judo medalist at the Paralympics in Tokyo, is one of five paralympic ambassadors chosen for the ‘PATH TO PARIS’ initiative. Its aim to encourage children to get active by following in their sporting heroes’ footsteps.
In a little under a year, the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games will take place. To mark this occasion, Get Set (the official youth engagement programme from Team GB and ParalympicsGB), is on a mission to get children aged five to eleven to get active with their new virtual challenge – Path to Paris.
One of five
Chris will be one of five Paralympic ambassadors. And there will also be five Olympic ambassadors. They’ll be encouraging schools, community groups or families to set up teams for children to take part, for free, and also learn about the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
‘I’m humbled and thrilled to be part of this project,’ Chris said. ‘Sport has always been an important part of my life. And, when I realised that I was losing my sight and there was nothing I could do about it, the sport of judo saved my life.
‘When I started out in this sport, I didn’t dream I could become the best in the world or win a medal at the Paralympics, yet here I am. If I can inspire one young person to embrace sport, get active and feel great about themselves then I’ve done my job.’
It’s all Greek to me!
The virtual challenge ‘begins’ in Athens, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. From there, children will embark on a virtual journey around the world in a team bus. They’ll complete fun activities as they explore different places on their way to the Paris games.
Every physical activity logged will earn kilometres to power a virtual team bus to its final destination. Whether it’s jumping on the trampoline in the garden, playing wheelchair basketball, attending a weekly judo club, or dancing around the living room as a family, it all counts. So everyone can get involved and get their hearts racing doing something they enjoy.
It’s an education too
As well as getting active, children will learn about athletes and their sports. Also the history of the games, and can win prizes too. These range from sports equipment, posters and stickers to help them track their progress. There’s even exclusive school visits from Olympic and Paralympic athletes! Team members might also get shout outs on social media from athletes, or win awards for their outstanding achievements. Whether that’s as an individual or as a family. Jamie Piggins of Team GB said: ‘The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will inspire the nation. With the best British athletes providing incredible performances on the global stage.
The Path to Paris programme will allow young people from across Great Britain and Northern Ireland to feel closer to these unforgettable moments. All by taking part in physical activity, meeting inspirational athletes, and learning more about the Olympic and Paralympic movement.’
David Clarke OBE PLY, ParalympicsGB CEO, said: ‘We’re excited that, as part of this programme, there’ll be a focus on disabled children and their families. This focus will help to inspire and support them to take part in more physical activity. It’s our belief it will have significant social impact across the country. As children embrace the values of the paralympic games they’ll build active networks with their families and communities and form regular habits. That way they can continue an active lifestyle long after the 2024 Games are over.’