Our Commonwealth Games star, Sophie Tolchard, is one of 22 elite English athletes taking part in #22for22, a video series encouraging people to exercise at home as the country goes through its third lockdown.
#22for22, set up by Birmingham 2022 and Team England, features recognisable faces from different Commonwealth sports. Each will demonstrate a simple exercise which can be done from the comfort of home, including workouts that don’t require equipment or that use items found around the house.
The Commonwealth gold medallist was tasked with performing an exercise linked to her sport that a member of the public might be able to replicate at home. In her video, she demonstrates a “Russian twist” – a popular core strengthening exercise.
— Birmingham 2022 (@birminghamcg22) February 9, 2021
Shown over 22 consecutive days on Birmingham 2022 and Team England’s social media channels, viewers can get involved by trying the exercises and are even encouraged to film and upload their efforts to social media.
The fitness-themed content, featuring other athletes such as world champion gymnast Joe Fraser and Commonwealth medallist racewalker Tom Bosworth, aims to inspire members of the public to stay active at home as the country experiences its third national lockdown. It comes at a time when gyms are closed, grassroots sport postponed, and outdoor exercise limited to once per day – rules that are set to last until at least February 15.
Sophie competed for Team England in the women’s triples event at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games where she took home a gold medal alongside Ellen Falkner MBE and Sian Honnor. Having also competed at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Sophie is now part of the provisional shortlist of athletes that will compete in front of a home crowd at Birmingham 2022.
Commenting on her involvement in #22for22, Sophie said: “We all know how important it is to keep our bodies and minds as healthy as we can right now but being stuck at home can be challenging. Even just a small dose of exercise every day will not only keep you fit, but it will leave you feeling energised and will do wonders for your mental health too.
“I hope that people see our #22for22 videos and feel inspired to move their bodies. Workouts don’t need to be complicated, it’s often the simplest exercises that are the best for us.”
Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022, said: “Stepping outside for our daily exercise is so important right now, but there are certain scenarios when this might not possible. Perhaps you’re having to self-isolate, or even the mid-winter weather stops you from getting out, so it’s just as important that we remember to stay active while we stay at home too.
“Who better to get inspiration from than a Team England athlete? I’d encourage people from all ages and abilities to give these exercises a go. I’m certainly looking forward to trying them out.”
Paul Blanchard, Commonwealth Games England CEO, said: “We are so proud of the athletes taking part in the #22for22 campaign, encouraging their communities to join in and keep active during a time when it’s not easy to find motivation. We’ve seen from events like London 2012 how the power of sport can bring the nation together and hope that Birmingham 2022 can have that impact as we build to what we’re sure will be an incredible home Games. We hope these exercises inspire you to get your kit on and try them out!”
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, said: “Staying active is so important right now. It is fantastic that Birmingham 2022 and Team England are coming together to help keep us moving. Thank you to all the athletes involved and I hope they will inspire people across the country to get their daily exercise.”
For more information about #22for22 and to watch the athletes’ videos, please visit: www.birmingham2022.com/22for22