Paths for All launch 15th annual walking campaign at Aberdeen Youth Games to mark Year of Young People
Scotland’s walking charity Paths for All has launched the 15th annual Big Fit Walk, a campaign that will see more people become more active this June.
Over the next four weeks, people of all ages and abilities are being encouraged to organise a 30-minute walk or join one being held in their local area.
The campaign, which was launched at Aberdeen Youth Games today (Friday, May 25), aims to inspire communities across Scotland to come together for a walk to celebrate the benefits of being active.
Last year, over 200 walks were held from the Western Isles to the Scottish Borders, involving thousands of people walking with their friends, schools, clubs, groups and workplaces.
This year’s launch saw around 100 walkers join over 1400 schoolchildren to attempt Scotland’s biggest daily mile before Big Fit Walkers continued their route around Old Aberdeen.
Among them was Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health who launched the event at Aberdeen Sports Village.
She said: “Big Fit Walk is now in its 15th year and it continues to be innovative in its campaign to encourage individuals and groups across our communities to enjoy the many social and physical benefits that come from simply going for a walk.
“Being physically active has an extremely positive effect on health and mental wellbeing, and I would encourage everyone and anyone to get involved in the Big Fit Walk in the month ahead, and take advantage of the many community walking programmes Paths for All has on offer.
“These programmes play a vital role in helping to reduce loneliness and social isolation in communities by creating opportunities for everyone to meet new people and feel connected to their local area. It’s also fitting that, in this Year of Young People, the Big Fit Walk has launched with local children at the Aberdeen Youth Games, a brilliant example of all generations enjoying being active together.”
Paths for All, which promotes everyday walking for a happier healthier Scotland, teamed up with Aberdeen Youth Games organisers Sport Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University to launch this year’s Big Fit Walk.
Paths for All and Sport Aberdeen successfully collaborate to deliver over 20 weekly health walks throughout the city through Walking for Health project Walk Aberdeen.
Jenny McCann, Senior Development Manager (Active Lifestyles) at Sport Aberdeen, said: “As part of Sport Aberdeen’s Active Lifestyle’s programme, Walk Aberdeen’s fun, social and low intensity health walks are a key inclusive activity to enable people take the first steps to being more active.
“Launching the Big Fit Walk, as part of the Aberdeen Youth Games, will bring the generations together and celebrate the many positive impacts that walking can have on your physical and mental health.”
Bryan McCann, who leads the Robert Gordon University side of the Aberdeen Youth Games programme, said: “The Aberdeen Youth Games is an exciting programme that is made possible by our innovative partnership approach to allow students to act as community assets. It provides them with invaluable work-related, real-life learning opportunities, which enhances their employability whilst making a huge difference to the lives of young people in Aberdeen.
“Having so many primary schools taking part again this year – along with launching alongside the incredible Big Fit Walk – just goes to show the powerful and infectious positive impact that sport and exercise can have on society.”
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