UKactive launches One Big Thing

The nationwide initiative, in partnership with BUCS, aims to end low physical activity participation rates in the student population

ukactive has partnered with the British University & Colleges Sports (BUCS) to launch ‘One Big Thing’, a new initiative calling on universities to promote physical activity participation by registering to host their own ‘5k anyway’ event for their local student population.

The project aims to address the seven year plateau* in physical activity participation rates amongst tertiary students.

‘5K anyway’ events are organised activities which require students to cover a 5km distance participating in the physical activity their university or college has nominated, from fancy-dress themed runs, swimming and egg-and-spoon racing to skipping and military fitness obstacle courses.

“Research shows that only half of the student population meet the recommended levels of participation in sport and physical activity. These are the leaders of the future and it’s important that we invest in frameworks that offer non-traditional ways to be physically active and promote health and wellbeing,” said David Stalker, CEO of ukactive.

“This strategic partnership is a positive step towards joined up working between the physical activity sector and higher education. Our goal is that this initiative engages 50+ universities from across the UK and has 10,000 students taking part in an event of some kind,” he added.

Rob Smyth, head of marketing and sales, BUCS said: “I am delighted that BUCS are partnering with ukactive on ‘One Big Thing’, ensuring that all students get or stay active during their busy exam period. Sport and physical activity is important for all of us, regardless if you are competing at the elite end or just socially and One Big Things 5km allows everyone to get active regardless of finishing in 15 minutes or 55 minutes.”

Universities can sign up online to be part of ‘One Big Thing’ at ‘One Big Thing’ events will be held at university campuses across the country on Friday 16th May.


*Data released by Sport England’s ‘Active People Survey’ in June 2013 revealed that there has been no significant improvement to physical activity levels of the university student demographic since 2007.

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