Olympic legend Sally Gunnell has today, Monday 7 June 2021, visited a school in Brighton to launch a new Olympic-inspired campaign between the British Red Cross and its official partner Team GB, encouraging schools to get involved with a brand new fundraising challenge, Be Your Best.
At a time when the pandemic has left people feeling lonelier than ever, the British Red Cross and Team GB are working in partnership to inspire the nation to come together and look out for each other.
Gunnell says: “I’ve supported the British Red Cross for years and I’m delighted that two organisations, close to my heart, have come together to support local communities”.
“Loneliness does not discriminate and if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how much we depend on one another. From experience, I know that whether it’s a Team GB athlete relying on their coach’s support, or someone turning to a Red Cross volunteer to get them through a tough time – connections and relationships are so important in life.”
Launching on 28 June 2021, Be Your Best encourages children to set themselves a personal challenge to raise money for the British Red Cross. In the same way Team GB athletes are always striving to improve their performance, children can choose any activity – from running laps of the playground to long distance skipping to reading or baking marathons – setting themselves a personal goal to complete in the run-up to the start of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Gunnell continues, “Today I’ve been at Coldean Primary School in Brighton meeting some of the amazing children who are taking on the Be Your Best challenge for the British Red Cross. Not only does Be Your Best give the children a chance to feel like they’re a part of the Olympics but to feel connected again, boost their confidence and wellbeing after an extremely difficult time since the start of the pandemic”
“The children’s energy and enthusiasm has blown me away – I can’t wait to see how other pupils across the country challenge themselves and get involved.”
Gunnell spent the day with the children, putting them through their paces on the sports field and helping them to decide on their Be Your Best pledges.
Awab, 8, a year three pupil from Coldean Primary School who took part in the activity and is taking on the Best Your Best challenge said: “I want to improve my running by doing further distances and gaining more swiftness. I’m the fastest in the class and maybe the fastest in key stage two. I just want to be really fast.”
Scarlett, 9, a classmate added: “I want to get better at my drawing, drawing life like things. I usually do drawing after school – on YouTube there’s these how to draw videos that help me – I most want to improve my drawing of animals.”
Andy Wilson, 39, their teacher said: “It was a pleasure to have Sally visit the school today – she was a huge inspiration to the children and we hope they will all strive to be their best as they get going on their chosen challenges.”
Team GB and the British Red Cross first partnered in 2020 with the shared vision of the power of everyday people working together to achieve extraordinary things from athletes striving to achieve their incredible goals as part of a team, to British Red Cross’ volunteers in the UK and around the world performing incredible acts of kindness to support those most vulnerable.
Mike Adamson, British Red Cross Chief Executive said:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with Team GB ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, launching this new Olympic-inspired campaign, to get kids active and bring communities together.
From baking to swimming, school children across the country have already committed to some wonderful ideas to challenge themselves, and we’re looking forward to more schools getting involved as we get ready to cheer on the athletes at the Olympics this Summer.
The British Red Cross is powered by a team of thousands of volunteers performing acts of kindness in their communities, making a huge difference to people in crisis, in the same way Team GB know the power of their team of athletes, working together to achieve incredible things”
Scott Field, Director of Communications at Team GB, said:
“Team GB is incredibly proud to partner with the British Red Cross. This past year has demonstrated that, as a nation, we are so much stronger when we come together to support each other. The Be Your Best imitative from the British Red Cross is an excellent way to engage communities with the Tokyo Olympic Games.”
Through the power of kindness for over 150 years, The British Red Cross has been there to support people through the most difficult times, and the money raised from the partnership will help the charity continue its vital work.
Pupils from 250 schools across the country have already signed up to take part in Be Your Best – to sign up for a fundraising pack visit: www.redcross.org.uk/beyourbest .’