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Sport England reminds young men to get back to the things they love

Sport England and FCB Inferno’s campaign encourages young men to return to their pre-pandemic sports.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director

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A gym bag hiding under a bed, a tennis racket gathering dust, a rugby ball denied a weekly muddy knock about.

The plight of these neglected sports kits is brought to life in Sport England and FCB Inferno’s latest campaign which aims to encourage young men to return to the sports and physical activities they once loved. Eight animations, all featuring a different sport, are designed to remind men to stop putting off the joy of physical exercise. 

The campaign follows the launch of Join the Movement, during the first lockdown which encouraged people to #Stayinworkout at that unique moment in time where gyms and sports facilities closed, training was cancelled and Joe Wicks became the nation’s PE instructor. 

Yet Sport England’s research shows that activity levels in young men in the wake of the pandemic have dropped and are falling from pre-pandemic levels. The Sport England research also showed that the pandemic has had a huge impact on young men’s mental health which has translated into a drop in levels of activity. 

The research is vital as it underlines the pivotal role that sport and physical exercise plays in wellbeing. According to Sport England, young men’s ‘whole wellbeing has been impacted from a career, social, physical and financial perspective, with TV, streaming, and gaming taking the place of their once-loved hobbies.’

Kate Dale, Campaign Director at Sport England, explained:  “The activity levels of 16–34-year-old men were hit hard by the pandemic, so we must remind them of how exercise makes them feel and the benefits it brings. Whether it’s the social connections from 5 a side football or the joy of clearing your head after work with a run, we want Join the Movement to help get young men back to activities that they love.”

Sharon Jiggins, EVP at FCB Inferno, added:  “Over the last two years whilst new habits have been formed there are lots of habits including exercise regimes that have been broken. And our new social campaign is a tongue-in-cheek reminder to get people to once again pick up their exercise equipment that has been sadly missing them! We want to remind people to get back to the sport they love.”

Backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and funded by The National Lottery, the 15-second social films can be seen on social and online video and are aimed at a broad, national audience of men of all ages.

The campaign comes ahead of the traditional excess of the festive season and is a welcome reminder of the need to make time to prioritise sport and exercise. From baking to zoom quizzes, the pandemic forced consumers to start many new habits but this campaign is a welcome reminder to kick start back up on those great habits that many were forced to press pause on. 

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