Recommended age group: 5–11
Time required: varies
Equipment: varies


Find the space and take part!

Depending on the space available, involve as many people as possible: the whole school community, family members and/or the wider community. Remember the purpose of the run is to encourage everyone, of all ages and irrespective of ability, to come together to complete the event to the best of their ability. With large numbers you may need to have more than one heat; those waiting can cheer and encourage others, or act as timekeepers and officials. Olympic Day is a global event so how about showing your support for a link school or by wearing the costumes or colours associated with the country? Maybe children can come dressed as their sporting hero 'look-a-likes'. For very young children try a fun run themed around either an 'animal Olympic Games' with children dressing up and moving over short distances like specific animals, or dressing up and taking part in a 'fairy tale Olympic' fun run. For older children, this is a perfect opportunity for them to demonstrate the Olympic Values by helping to organise the event.

Plan the distance

Will the event take place over a specific distance or for a set period of time?

Set up a route that covers a distance of 1, 1.5 or 2 kilometres, or set a specific time limit during which participants travel as many circuits of a route as they can. If space is limited, consider organising the event at a local park, high school or playing field. Make sure the route is clearly marked and easy to follow.

Cover the distance

Discuss and plan with the children how they could cover the distance, e.g. jogging, walking, running, pushing wheelchairs, riding scooters, cycling, roller skating, skateboarding...the possibilities are endless.

Fuel for the course

Discuss and establish the need for participants to have access to good hydration – maybe they could decorate a water bottle with an Olympic Value (excellence, respect and friendship), the colours of the Olympic Flag or Team GB, or the flag from another country with which the children have educational or cultural links.

It's nice to share a healthy snack at the end of the fun run. If this is a whole school event or one that includes parents and local community groups, you could have an international food stall offering tasty snacks from the UK or another country.

Rewarding and recognising personal excellence and effort

Provide the Olympic Day certificate to those demonstrating one or more of the Olympic Values and to those who try their very best to complete the event.

Extension/alternative ideas

If a fun run is not appropriate or feasible this year, why not integrate some or all of the activities below into the school day during the week leading up to Olympic Day:

Try a one-off morning or afternoon of fun, physical activities centred around 'moving', 'learning' and 'discovering' involving the whole school community and, if possible, family members, in a carousel of activities. Finish the event with a fresh fruit salad snack and smoothie drink, made by the children or volunteers. Why not ask each participant to bring a piece of fruit to school? Collect all these together and seek some volunteers or young leaders to make the fruit salads and smoothies.

The Carousel

Split your participants into three groups. Include all ages and abilities. Groups can be further divided into teams for each activity. Rotate activities after 30–40 minutes.

Station 1: Move and get active

In teams, take part in simple relay races involving balloons or large, soft balls. Tunnel ball, arch ball, over and under ball, moving with a balloon between one's knees and keeping a balloon up in the air are all fun activities. What others do you/your children know?

Station 2: Learn a traditional game of another country

Learn a game or activity that is popular in another country. Use ideas from a link school or find out about the traditional games of a country you supported during Rio 2016.

If you need some additional help check out the 'International Inspiration – Traditional Games resources created by the British Council.

Station 3: Discover a new sport or activity

Provide an opportunity to learn a new sport with a coach, qualified young sports leader or ambassador. If this isn't possible, challenge children to try a new fun activity like juggling, cup stacking, keepie-uppie, hula hooping, French skipping or cheerleading.

Rewards and recognition

Provide the Olympic Day certificate to those demonstrating one or more of the Olympic Values and to those who try their very best.