Best Practice

Three days to go to Olympic Day - Great Britain Olympians celebrate Rugby’s Olympic Return

20 | 6 | 2016

To celebrate Olympic Day, the inclusion of Rugby sevens at Olympic Games Rio 2016 and the culmination of the WOA-led World Fit UK pilot initiative, the GB Olympians Association is taking part in a schools rugby tournament in the city of Coventry.

The event, a city-wide Rugby sevens festival for primary and secondary schools, will encourage children and young people aged 6-18 years-old from the area to get involved, get active and learn about the Olympic Values of friendship, excellence and respect as Rugby prepares to make its return to the Olympic Games after an absence of 92 years. A total of 37 schools from across Coventry (26 primary and 11 secondary) will take part with gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded to the winning teams in keeping with the Olympic Day theme.

A special ceremony at the end of the tournament will also recognise the achievements of the schools who participated in the recent World Fit ‘Walk to Rio’ challenge, an initiative that encourages young people to lead active and healthy lifestyles by using walking as a catalyst for cultural change. The successful UK pilot initiative, facilitated by the WOA and the GB Olympians Association in partnership with schools in Coventry and Manchester, was the first time the World Fit initiative has been trialled outside of the United States, where it was first developed by the US Olympians Association.  

Olympians including middle distance runner Sheila Carey, who competed at Mexico City 1968 and Munich 1972, London 2012 Olympic swimmer Grant Turner, triple Olympic runner Dave Moorcroft (Montreal 1976, Moscow 1980 & Los Angeles 1984), two-time Olympic swimmer Jo Deakins (Barcelona 1992 & Atlanta 1996), double Olympic marathon runner Dave Long (Seoul 1988 & Barcelona 1992), Bill Adcocks, who finished fifth in the marathon at Mexico 1968 and Fran Clayton, who was a member of the British Water Polo team competing at London 2012, will be on hand to run activities, support the participating schools, spread the Olympic spirit and hand out medals and certificates at the end of the event.

Joslyn Hoyte-Smith, President of the GB Olympians Association, said:

“We are very pleased to be involved in this exciting Olympic Day event celebrating Rugby sevens and the Olympic Movement in the lead up to Olympic Games Rio 2016. The GB Olympians Association has played an important part in the successful UK trial of the World Fit ‘Walk to Rio’ initiative so it is fantastic to be able to be present on Olympic Day to honour the achievements of all the schools involved in the pilot initiative.

“World Fit has shown that it is possible to drive cultural change and help combat inactivity by uniting and inspiring children to participate in sport and exercise. As Olympians it is important that we continue to use our status for the benefit of both our local communities and society as a whole and we would like to thank the Coventry Sports Network and Coventry Sports Foundation’s Engage! Programme for including us in this special event.” 

Olympic Day is celebrated around the world on June 23 and is a day for people of all ages and abilities to come together to get active, celebrate the Olympic Values and discover new sports. 

The WOA would like to share your inspirational National Olympians Association’s Olympic Day stories, events and pictures on our digital and social platforms so please let us know about any planned Olympic Day activities by contacting: