23 July 2024

Team GB Olympic athletes in town to launch new activity trails

Team GB Olympians Kate French and Mohamed Sbihi will be in Withernsea at the weekend, helping to launch two new activity trails that are designed to encourage families to be active.

The project, called Green 2 Gold, is being held in collaboration with Team GB and the focus is on looking at greenspace exercise as a route to tackling health inequalities in East Yorkshire.

The trails will be launched on Saturday, June 24, at Victoria Dock Park, and Sunday, June 25, at Valley Gardens in Withernsea.

Esther Carter, PhD student at the University of Hull, who created the trails, said: “We’re keen to create an activity that is accessible to many people and could encourage ‘stealthy’ exercise.

“By having free walking trails in place, that people can take part in at any time, issues surrounding the cost of activities and a lack of time are reduced. These are commonly cited as barriers to taking part in physical activity.

“Two things that are great for improving general health are being regularly physically active and spending time outdoors in nature.

“We’re hoping this project will allow people to come together as a family to exercise, at a convenient time, and work with technology to motivate engagement.”

After researching what was already available in terms of greenspace exercise as a means of engaging communities in physical activity, two interactive walking trails have been developed.

These trails are walking routes that go around local outdoor nature spaces and walkers are encouraged to look out for Team GB branded signposts that include unique activities and fun facts.

Kate French and Mohamed Sbihi will lead a warm-up for families before they join people on the walk around the trails.

Kate French took gold in the modern pentathlon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and was the highest finishing British modern pentathlete at Rio 2016. She was made an MBE in the 2022 New Year Honours.

Mohamed Sbihi, won a bronze medal with the men’s eight at London 2012 before taking gold in the men’s four in Rio 2016. He returned for his third Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020, where he was Team GB’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony and later claimed his third Olympic medal in the men’s eight.

In Withernsea, there will be four trail options of differing lengths to suit all abilities – the gold medal route, silver medal route, bronze medal route and the Lion route. Families should keep their eyes peeled as there’ll be 21 signposts in total, with the route going through numerous promenade areas, parks and streets.

Both the Hull and Withernsea events will run from 11am to 3pm. There is no sign-up to attend – families can simply join on the day.

For more information, visit activelearning.hull.ac.uk.