Insights from

Get Set

Project evaluations

All of the insights from Spirit’s grants to the British Olympic Foundation

Get Set is the official youth engagement programme of the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association and aims to help inspire young people aged 5-19 to get active and live the Olympic and Paralympic Values. The Programme is delivered by the British Olympic Foundation, the British Paralympic Association, and EVERFI. Supported by Spirit of 2012, BOF and the BPA launched Road to Rio in 2014 which included a mobile app enabling young people to work in teams and turn physical activity into kilometres. BOF and the BPA were then funded by Sport England for Travel to Tokyo and Bound for Beijing at the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2020 and 2022, with match-funding from Spirit of 2012 for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland activities taking our investment in the programme to nearly £900,000.

Travel to Tokyo and Bound for Beijing used the inspiration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to engage inactive families from lower socio-economic groups (LSEG) and encourage them to be more active together on a regular basis. During Tokyo 2020, schools and families accessed fun and flexible activity ideas and logged their physical activity to follow their progress across the world to Tokyo, learning about cultures along the way. For Beijing 2022, participants were tasked with virtually hiking up to the top of fictional Mount Spirit.


  • Encourage young people and their families across the UK to get active in the lead-up to Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022
  • Support families to change their attitudes and behaviours to getting active by encouraging them to join in and try something new



  • 951,445 pupils from 5,000 schools participated in Travel to Tokyo, with 191,280 pupils from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • 281,919 pupils from 1,643 schools participating in Bound for Beijing, including 47,802 pupils from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Families enjoyed their participation: 92% of activities logged during Travel to Tokyo were categorised as either ‘enjoyable’ or ‘very enjoyable’.

“Today myself and Kevin tried something new. We grabbed our bikes and went on a mini bike ride. For myself it has been a very long time riding a bike but I was reminded how free I feel. Kevin said he didn’t feel overly confident in going fast but he enjoyed going at a steady pace and staying on the cycle path. I think we will make this a regular activity.” – Parent

  • Schools found the programme to be a good way to engage pupils in physical activity and general wellbeing.

“Our entire interdisciplinary of Multiculturalism was based on the countries and cities along the route. The kids loved it.” – Teacher

  • The programme had some success in encouraging physically inactive people to become active, including those from lower socio-economic groups (LSEG).

“The kids that were engaged with physical activity who maybe weren’t so active before, were making a choice to compete, they wanted to show me as much as anybody else how much they were doing.” – Teacher



  • Keys to driving successful engagement included building an enjoyable offer that is shareable, keeping the offer simple, providing inclusive low- or zero-cost activities, and linking the programme to the curriculum.

“I think it was very easy, we’ve clearly took responsibility for it for our schools and online setup was great. It was very simple for families to engage.” – Teacher

  • Teamwork, self-direction, and inclusive activities were key to getting inactive people active.

“I know not all families have a lot of money to spare for sports clubs but the options to add playing in the playpark and walking etc. are great, meaning anyone could participate.” – Parent

  • The link to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the athlete ambassadors, helped participants learn about new sports and provided inspiring role models, including disabled athletes.

“The children loved chatting to Bethany today – it was a real treat and has certainly motivated them to think about the possibilities for the future!” – Teacher following Bethany Firth’s visit

Next steps for the programme

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are unique in their ability to inspire and engage families in different types of activity. Travel to Tokyo and Bound for Beijing have been a success, and there has been a significant amount of learning for future iterations of the programme.

With Paris 2024 rapidly approaching, and due to its locality close to the UK, there is a substantial opportunity to build on the Travel to Tokyo programme to get more families, more active, more often over the coming years.

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Sport and physical activity

Get Set