Golborne youth take part in walking challenge

The Youth Action Alliance (YAA) based in Golborne ran a successful walking challenge in February to encourage young people to ditch their Oyster cards and get about on foot.

YAA ran the project with funding from Go Golborne as part of the Pedal & Stride campaign to encourage active travel. It was devised as a way to encourage young people to be more active and limit bus journeys that could be walked (or jogged/cycled!) instead.

YAA invested in ‘Fit Bits’ and ran a competition that challenged a group of 12 young people to see who could clock up the most active minutes during the course of a week. Prizes were offered as an incentive to spur the young people on, plus activities and events were organised to help young people stay on track (including a very muddy 5K in Wormwood Scrubs!).

 Golborne Walking Challenge

The challenge proved to be lots of fun and produced some great results. A follow up survey conducted by YAA two weeks after the challenge found that eight young people had decreased their use of public transport for short journeys, five had increased the amount they cycle, and that several had taken up other forms of physical activity. The young people also reported other benefits – such as feeling fitter and having clearer skin as a result of adopting a healthier lifestyle. One young person said ‘We should do more like this, it was really fun and making it competitive was a good idea.’ Another said ‘I had a great time, made me a lot fit, I used to be lazy and this was a good experience’

Reflecting on the challenge Emily Stevens, Senior Youth Worker said ‘The novelty of the Fit Bits and group competition proved a brilliant way to encourage young people to be more active. I believe some of the mind-sets of the young people have been changed by taking part in this project. They are more likely to walk a couple of stops instead of jump on the bus now!’