The National Lottery and ITV hosted I Am Team GB on 27 August
The weekend saw the public and Team GB’s returning Olympians united for I Am Team GB as Saturday's (27 August) landmark event became the UK’s biggest EVER sports day. Over 2,600 clubs and organisations of all sizes across the UK put on events for free and invited the pubic to try out a whole range of different sporting activities, some alongside a selection of Team GB’s returning Olympic heroes.
The National Lottery and ITV collaborated on I Am Team GB to encourage people to get out and get active while also celebrating the public’s unique contribution, through playing The National Lottery, to Team GB’s success. Team GB, who achieved their best medal haul in 108 years in Rio amassing an astonishing 67 medals (27 gold, 23 silver and 17 bronze) sent a selection of their finest Olympians, with over 50 medals between them including 21 Gold, 22 Silver and 7 Bronze, the length and breadth of the UK to support I Am Team GB, the nation’s biggest ever sports day. ITV also switched off all their channels for an hour at 9.30am to encourage the nation to get involved.
Events, clubs and venues across the UK had a fantastic response, breaking record attendances and participation numbers. Well over 100,000 people signed up for I Am Team GB via the website with actual attendance numbers expected to be nearly double that figure. The hashtag, #iamteamgb, trended world-wide on twitter on the day, with contributions showing that the nation had indeed got up and been active across thousands of I Am Team GB events. ITV talent including Alesha Dixon, Ben Fogle, Linda Robson, Stacey Soloman, Lydia Bright plus members of the Coronation Street and Emmerdale cast were on hand to lend their support at events across the country.
Grassroots organisations were quick to herald the success of the initiative. Tom Williams, Chief Operating Officer for parkrun UK – parkrun events accounting for nearly 400 of the day’s 2,600-odd events – said: "Across the length and breadth of the UK people have come together at our events to celebrate sport. Today we've seen 90,000 different people cross a parkrun finish-line in the UK, an increase of 23,000 on the same Saturday last year, and all of us at parkrun feel an immense sense of pride in being part of #IAmTeamGB."
Greg Rutherford and Marshall Milton Keynes Athletics Club
Greg Rutherford, Olympic Bronze Medallist, who hosted an I Am Team GB event in his own back garden for kids from his local athletics club, Marshall Milton Keynes Athletics Club, said: “It was great to be part of an incredible performance by Team GB in Rio and to see the impact of that since coming home. I Am Team GB was a superb opportunity to use the power of that performance to encourage people to get out and give sport a go. Every Olympian’s journey has to start somewhere so it was brilliant to be able to welcome local youngsters in to my garden and get them jumping. ITV switching off their network was a marvellous gesture to kick off the day and, given their contribution to sport and Team GB’s success, it was wholly appropriate that The National Lottery were also involved.”
Max Whitlock at London's Copper Box Arena
Just some of the I Am Team GB highlights on the day included Max Whitlock, double Gold Medal-winning Gymnast and Crista Cullen, member of the Women’s Gold Medal-winning Hockey Team, at London’s iconic Copper Box Arena. Gold Medallist and new World Record holder in the Women’s team pursuit, Elinor Barker, graced the cobbles of Coronation Street while the set of Emmerdale welcomed Triathlon Gold Medallist Alistair Brownlee, as the rolling hills and dales hosted a Duathlon. The Ricoh Arena had Liam Heath, Gold and Silver Medallist in the kayaking while Reading Rowing Club welcomed a whole host of medal winners including; Gold Medal winner in the Women’s Coxless Pair Helen Glover, Gold Medal winner in the Men’s Coxless Four Alex Gregory and Silver Medal winner Zoe de Toledo, cox in the Women’s eight.
Helen Glover at Reading Rowing Club
The National Sports Centre in Cardiff saw Silver Medallist in the Women’s 400m and 800m freestyle, swimmer Jazz Carlin. Gateshead International Stadium in the North East saw Silver Medalist in the Women’s individual trampoline Bryony Page, Silver Medal-winning rower Katie Greves and Bronze Medal winner in the Women’s floor exercise, Gymnast Amy Tinkler.
Glasgow National Hockey Centre welcomed Silver Medal-winning Rower Karen Bennett while the golden sands of Hope Cove in Devon had Giselle Ansley, member of the Women’s Gold Medal-winning Hockey Team.
To celebrate the support the nation gives them by playing The National Lottery, Team GB's returning Olympians joined famous faces from ITV at events across the UK. Over £80 million has been raised each year by National Lottery players to help fund elite athletes during the four-year build-up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
I Am Team GB took place in conjunction with the British Olympic Association (BOA), UK Sport and was supported by Join In.
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