Newham's Olympic hero spearheads Million Miles Together Challenge

30 September 2016 in Sport and leisure
The borough’s very own Olympic Gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu has joined up with Newham Council to encourage residents to achieve ‘one million miles’ of physical activity in 100 days.
Christine Ohuruogu
​The former 400m World Champion Christine Ohuruogu and the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, have signed up to take part in the Million Miles Together Challenge which starts on Saturday 1 October.

Sponsored by London City Airport it is designed to encourage people to live healthier and more active lives, with Newham the first place in the country to undertake the initiative.

From 1 October, individuals or groups will be able to convert any time spent doing physical activity – which could be swimming, walking, gardening, dancing, or yoga – into a mileage equivalent on the Million Miles Together website.

The aim is to clock up a million miles – the distance of travelling to the moon and back twice – by Sunday 8 January 2017. The initiative is free for people living, working or studying in Newham to sign up to take part in. People can sign up and take part in the challenge at any point during the 100 days.

Christine won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 2008 Games in Beijing, silver at the 2012 Games in London and bronze in the 4x400m Relay at the 2016 Games in Rio. She said: “I’m really excited to be involved in Million Miles Together. It’s fantastic that Newham will be the first Council in the whole of the UK to take on this challenge.

“I love that this challenge is for everyone, of any age, any level of health and fitness. It’s not just about sport and anyone can take part.

“It is an opportunity to take part in something I believe offers a fresh, new and creative approach to an age old problem of getting people to lead fitter and healthier lives. Both the Council and I are committed to helping inspire people to get more active, and initiatives like this are a positive step in the right direction.”

Million Miles Together is supported by Newham Council’s eight Community Neighbourhood Teams who were set up by the Council to bring local people together at events and initiatives. The teams have set themselves a target of registering at least 1,500 people from each community neighbourhood to take part.

Councillor Ken Clark, cabinet member for building communities, public affairs, regeneration and planning, said: “Million Miles Together is a fantastic initiative that will give people the impetus they need to get active.

“As well as helping Newham reach its million miles target they will also be able to see and feel the benefits in their own health.

“I am delighted Christine has added her support to the initiative as she is an inspirational figure for many people across the borough. I will also be joining the Mayor and many of my council colleagues in taking part and I hope as many others also join in.”

London City Airport is the principal sponsor of Newham’s Million Miles Together Challenge, and will also be encouraging its 2,000 staff to take part.

Liam McKay, Head of CSR & Public Affairs at London City Airport, said: “As one of the biggest employers in Newham, and with our close links to the local community, it is fitting that London City Airport support Newham’s Million Miles Together Challenge and we’re excited to be a part of it. We’ll be encouraging our staff to take part and we hope lots of our Newham neighbours also sign up to the challenge.”

Any member of the public wanting to register or find our more about the initiative should visit