Last Updated: 01/07/20 12:05pm
Anthony Joshua has led the praise to children across the United Kingdom who took part in the National School Sport Week in June.
The charity campaign, designed to help young people missing out on school sport days and unite them through sport, reached more than two million people last week.
WBA, IBF and WBO champion Joshua praised the week-long campaign and believes the collaboration between the Youth Sport Trust, Sky Sports, and young people was the perfect tonic to life in lockdown.
“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken part in the Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week at Home which this year has been supercharged by Sky Sports,” Joshua said of the campaign that took place between June 20 and June 26.
“It has been amazing to see the creativity and enthusiasm on show, with sporting activities bringing together families, schools and communities all across the country.
“Sport has such power to bring people together and improve wellbeing. Young people have never needed this more than they do now.
“Let’s now keep this momentum going and keep working to ensure sport has a positive role to play in every young person’s life.”
The Youth Sport Trust launched the idea to bring sports days home amid school closures and social distancing.
Ali Oliver, chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “This was the first ever National School Sport Week at Home and we are in awe of how many people the week has helped to connect and make amazing memories through sport.
“I am absolutely indebted to all the partners and organisations who got behind the campaign, not least Sky Sports for supercharging the whole week.
“Young people across the UK should have been having their school sports days this summer so we thought why not bring sports day home and help bring some fun and play into people’s lives during such a difficult time.
“Thank you to everyone who has made it so special and such a success. We’ve had everyone from the Lionesses and sporting stars, to Westminster MPs and fire brigades, but most importantly schools and families joining in, playing together and investing in their wellbeing through physical activity.
“As young people start returning to school, Physical Education and school sport will play an essential role in helping them to recover from the toll that months of lockdown and school closures have taken on their wellbeing.”
Research from YouGov found that over two million adults across the UK heard about the campaign, with 51 per cent of those who were aware either taking part with family and friends or knowing someone that did.
Almost 8,000 schools, businesses and organisations signed up, including England Women’s football team, Westminster MPs, local authorities and a fire brigade in London.