There is a lot of coverage of the Olympic legacy issue in the media – almost all of it negative. Some of its sympathetically negative – previous Olympics left no real sporting legacy so why should London – and some if it is hostilely negative. All of it takes as a given that, as yet, nothing has happened on the legacy front.
Those of us who have put our heart and soul into Gold Challenge over the last three years would have to disagree. So far 95,000 people have registered to do one of our Olympic and Paralympic themed charity challenges. And it hasn’t cost the public purse a penny. All the funding has come from our 150 charity partners and from the management team.
Registering for the Gold Challenge isn’t simply expressing support for a concept by clicking a ‘like’ button. Nor is it signing up for something that may result in personal gain. It’s a real commitment that involves plenty of physical activity and raising funds for the participant’s chosen charity. 95,000 registrants for something of this nature is, by any standards, an extraordinary number and we are not afraid to say that we believe that we have helped to create a legacy for London 2012.
Our most successful challenge is the 2012km challenge. The concept is very simple – cover 2012km by any means of locomotion used in the Olympics or Paralympics: running, cycling, swimming, walking, wheelchair, riding, sailing, canoeing, windsurfing etc. It’s usually undertaken by teams (and the occasional highly motivated individual!) and has proved extremely popular amongst schools as well as adults. We also have a number of variants of the challenge such as the 201.2km challenge for those for whom 2012km is too far.
Why has it succeeded? Partly through a huge amount of hard work and determination by the Gold Challenge team. Partly because, as long as it’s pitched correctly with the right hook, people love a challenge.
We now have 3 years of hard fought and hard bought experience of what does and doesn’t work. We’ve got a number of future challenges in planning that we think will inspire the public to further physical activity – with all the attendant healthy, social and personal benefits. We’ve done most of the expensive upfront investment so they’re not going to cost a huge amount.
However our existing funding sources are exhausted meaning that our next challenge is straightforward – to find a way to fund our future!
Founder, Gold Challenge