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Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas & R4W Team up to Challenge the Welsh Public to get Active

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Run 4 Wales (R4W), organisers of some of Wales’ best loved running events including the Cardiff Half Marathon have teamed up with Welsh rugby’s Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas to launch the Active Nation Challenge, which will run between Friday 6 and Sunday 8 August 2021.

The campaign will challenge the people of Wales to walk, jog, wheel or run 1 mile and help prove that Wales can be an Active Nation. It is being launched in response to shocking levels of physical activity in Wales – where just 13% of children manage recommended levels and 61% of adults are overweight or obese.

Entry is free with those signing up urged to encourage as many people as they can to get involved too, join a family member or friend and help them complete the mile or sign-up their workplace, school or sports club.

Participants will be able to walk, jog, or run from any worldwide location as individuals or in groups before uploading their name and finish time to the all-Wales leaderboard.

Matt Newman, R4W Chief Executive commented:

“Wales is a small but proud nation that certainly punches above its weight. We may be a land of just 3.1 million people, yet we boast world-class rugby and football teams, one of the world’s fastest Coronavirus vaccine rollouts and one of Europe’s oldest living languages.”

“Our global rankings in terms of physical activity are unfortunately a little less inspiring, with problems only worsening during the COVID-19 pandemic when we’ve seen whole sports programmes and facilities closed for months at a time.”

“At R4W, we’re proud to be Welsh and passionate about the benefits of physical activity and the power it has to change lives through improved physical and mental wellbeing. Through events like the Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon we’ve inspired thousands of people to get active, but we need to do more if we’re going to inspire long lasting change.”

“It’s why we’re launching the Active Nation challenge, which we hope can help start conversations about inactivity levels in Wales and inspire people to make positive changes.”

Former Cardiff Blues and Wales star Gareth Thomas said:

“As a passionate Welshman, who believes in the power of sport and physical activity, I’m delighted to be getting behind the Active Nation campaign. Walking and running are the most accessible forms of physical activity and I’ve seen first-hand how they can change lives for the better.”

“I’ve helped groups of women, men and young people who could not run for one minute to complete the Cardiff Half Marathon. They showed me that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it, which is why I’m confident that the Active Nation Challenge can inspire thousands of others and help prove what the people of Wales are made of!”

“I’m urging the people to join me and get involved, either by walking, jogging or running.”

Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, commented:

“I’m delighted to be supporting the Active Nation campaign as regular physical activity has many benefits to health, including mental health and wellbeing.”

“Everyone in Wales should aim to be physically active every day. I hope people of all ages and abilities feel inspired to walk, jog, wheel or run one mile as part of their journey to improved health.  As a regular runner, I’m looking forward to participating myself and helping to prove that Wales can be an Active Nation.”

You can now visit run4wales.org/active-nation to find out more, register for free or download a supporter pack to help spread the word [note; link will not go live until 23 July]

Those signing up will be able to submit their mile time and see their name on the all-Wales leaderboard, be in with the chance of winning prizes and claim discounts on sportswear, nutrition and training products from R4W partners such as Healthspan, Runderwear & 2XU.

Follow Run 4 Wales on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to follow the campaign.