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A montage of 2021 REDers courtesy of RED January
A montage of 2021 REDers courtesy of RED January

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5,000 Londoners got active for RED January raising nearly £25,000 in the process

A dedicated community of 5,000 Londoners who completed the nationwide physical and mental health campaign RED January at the start of the year have raised almost £25,000 for charity Sport in Mind. 

Enthusiasm for RED January, a Sport Tech Hub alumnus, rose significantly in the capital in 2021, despite the nationwide lockdown, with a 48% increase in participants (REDers) compared to January 2020.

London Sport once again threw their support behind the campaign which saw 5,021 Londoners take up the challenge to get active every day, their way, throughout a typically tough month of the year.

The results are even more impressive given an extremely challenging 2020 which saw two national lockdowns due to the covid-19 pandemic and a third starting on January 4.

But research continues to show the positive impact that being active can have on mental wellbeing.

Research conducted by RED January and the University of Oxford found that more than 50% of RED January 2020 participants experienced less stress and reduced signs of depressive symptoms.

A third (32%) of participants moved from being inactive to fairly active – helping to break down one of the hardest steps to sustained physical activity.

Across the country, 49,000 people registered for RED January in 2021 with £400,000 raised for their official charity partner, Sport in Mind, a UK mental health sports charity.

Sport in Mind uses sport and physical activity to improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems and hopes to set up a series of pilot projects in London with the money REDers have raised.

RED January founder, Hannah Beecham, said:

“To see people turn to RED January as a way to support themselves and their loved ones during this difficult period in time, was incredibly heart-warming.

As I currently live in London, to know there were thousands of fellow REDers out there, all supporting their mental health and wellbeing by being physically active, made the lockdown experience much brighter.

"I knew we were together in purpose.”

Alex Zurita, Head of London Sport’s Sport Tech Hub, added:

“RED January 2021 has once again showed the immense value and the positive impact physical activity can have at a time when, you could argue that, it was more needed than ever.

"Physical activity can be a priceless escape but also has the power to connect individuals and bring Londoners together as a single community. 

"It is brilliant to see RED January's year-on-year growth, the evidence-led approach continues to showcase its value as a campaign and the funding raised is reinvested into the sector at a time of economic uncertainty.

"With RED January going from strength-to-strength, Londoners can continue to get involved with the campaign and join existing REDers in starting their year by beating the blues away and being active."

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Andrew Lawton

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London Sport aims to make London the most physically active city in the world.

About London Sport

London Sport aims to make London the most physically active city in the world. Supported by the Mayor of London and Sport England, our target is to get Londoners more physically active.

For more information on London Sport, visit www.londonsport.org

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