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UK trust members smash ‘Road to Tokyo’ challenge

By Megan Whitby    16 Sep 2021

Members from UK leisure and cultural trusts have stepped up and logged an impressive 21.5million steps in a ‘Road to Tokyo’ challenge, as part of a free initiative from leisure & cultural marketing experts, Bigwave Marketing.

The interactive, digital challenge was created to celebrate the rescheduled Tokyo games and aimed to help operator trusts to re-engage with members by encouraging them to join forces in an active challenge.

The premise was simple – support your local trust, log your daily steps, and metaphorically walk, jog or run to Tokyo in time for the games.

The steps were logged by trust members via the communityactive.org website where they became teammates with their local trust and logged daily steps to contribute to the team’s overall effort.

Trusts moved up and down the leader board across the two weeks in which the challenge ran (23 July - 8 August), all vying for the top spot.

13 UK trusts took part in the free challenge, with operator sites competing against each other to see which site could go the furthest distance. The leader board enabled everyone to compete both locally and nationally.

The collective 21.5 million steps notched up equated to 10,751 miles and smashed the target of 5,938 miles, which represented the distance between London and Tokyo.

Trust members logged almost enough steps to make the return journey.

Simon Beer, Bigwave Marketing operations & digital director, said: “We were impressed with the volume of steps and healthy competition between trust operators. One member (Claire) from Abbeycroft Leisure in Hertfordshire notched up an impressive 298,210 steps just on her own, that’s equivalent to 149 miles!

“Working with trusts across the UK, we were conscious of the efforts to re-engage members of the community and welcome them back into facilities following the impact of the COVID lockdowns. We wanted to build something that was fun, free and accessible to help Trusts reconnect”.

The challenge was an exercise in “trust”, as it relied on honest step totals being added. However, the agency coded the system to require any step count over 10,000 to require proof in the form of image uploads.

The final three positions on the leaderboard, for most steps covered by a trust operator, went to Basingstoke Sports Trust which achieved Bronze, Trilogy Leisure which took silver, and Halo Leisure which claimed gold – after its member logged an impressive 8,938,519 steps.

Cathy Fletcher, Halo Leisure marketing manager, said: “We really wanted to do something to celebrate the Tokyo games but it wasn't practical to ask the centres to put on additional activities when they were already busy supporting existing members and welcoming new joiners.

“The Road to Tokyo campaign was perfect as it allowed us to link our customers with this wonderful sporting event with minimal effort from operational staff on sites.

“The visual assets and accompanying content produced by Bigwave were fun, eye-catching and engaging. Our staff really bought into the concept and encouraged all members to take part - reminding them to record the steps of activities taking place in and out of our centres.

“If the steps on the Road to Tokyo were an official sport, Halo would have been at the top of the leader board and proudly wearing gold!”

The campaign was provided free to any UK trust and was run entirely via the communityactive.org website.

Community Active is an initiative from Bigwave Marketing that was launched during the first UK COVID-19 lockdown to support UK trusts and provide a platform to champion the trust model.

The agency has grown the site through a partnership with Community Leisure UK – the members’ association that specialises in representing charitable Leisure and Culture Trusts across England, Scotland and Wales.

The site seeks to make it easier for people to find an accessible and inclusive sport, leisure, arts or culture activity near them. Among recently added features is timetabling, which is powered by imin and enabled by Sport England’s open data initiative OpenActive.

Find your local trust operator site by clicking on this link.

Trust leaderboard – final positions

Halo Leisure Trust – 8,938,519
Trilogy Leisure (Northampton Leisure Trust) – 2,293,812
Basingstoke Sports Centre– 2,110,629
bstFitness Newbury – 1,937,784
Circadian Trust – 1,885,693
Aspire Sports & Cultural Trust‎ – 1,536,300
Abbeycroft Leisure – 1,033,932
BH Live – 355,120
West Lothian Leisure – 314,745
GL1 – 90,648
Bridgend Life Centre – 52,145
George Carnall Community Group – 40,468
Impulse Leisure Trust – 5,911

Local centre leaderboard – final positions
Bridgend Life Centre – 3,344,224
Ross Swimming Pool – 3,035,549
GL1 – 794,668
Hereford Leisure Centre – 757,783
Maesteg Sports Centre – 361,747
Wigmore Leisure Centre – 269,750
Yate Active Lifestyle Centre – 220,704
Highworth Recreation Centre – 191,239
Pencoed Swimming Pool – 186,261
Longwell Green Active Lifestyle Centre – 123,130
Oxstalls Sports Park – 71,598
Severn Centre – 68,764
Leominster Leisure Centre and Bridge Street Sports Centre – 48,738
Ynysawdre Swimming Pool & Fitness Centre – 33,146
Ogmore Valley Life Centre – 25,853
Bradley Stoke Active Lifestyle Centre – 20,881
Kingswood Active Lifestyle Centre – 20,190
Maesteg Swimming Pool – 15,957
The Bromyard Centre – 15,000
Hereford Leisure Pool – 8,000
Thornbury Active Lifestyle Centre – 4,000

BigWave Marketing 
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