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One Big Thing  Coventry
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One Big Thing - Coventry 04/11/2015

One Big Thing is a project started two years ago by Coventry University in partnership with UK Active. The project has since evolved to include the whole of Coventry and Coventry University have teamed up with the University of Warwick, Coventry City Council, CSW Sport, NHS organisations and the Workplace Wellbeing Charter, to lead the citywide project. 

The project aims to bring people in Coventry together for the day – no matter what their age or level of fitness - to do something active, either collectively or individually. By doing this, the project hopes to create a united, healthy and energetic city, that realises the benefits of physical activity and sport, and how it can be easily included in everyday life. 

The project invites everybody in Coventry to get physically active with any form of physical activity that suits them, whether its ten minutes or ten hours; it could be stretching, swimming or spinning; it could be in the bedroom, the boardroom or the bath – whatever works! The project also encourages businesses, schools and other organisations to take part by 'pledging' to arrange activities for their staff and students.  
 
One Big Thing 2015 

Held on Wednesday 21st October, One Big Thing 2015 was the biggest one yet, with thousands of people and organisations taking part across the city, from schoolchildren to pensioners. A whole range of centrally organised activities took place throughout the day in many parts of the city and lots of information was available to encourage and inspire everyone to get involved and be active. City centre shoppers and workers were even invited to join a main event in the main city square, where Coventry Sports Foundation ran a variety of great activities. 

At Coventry University, there was a jam-packed timetable of classes, challenges, and pop-up sport activities on campus throughout the day to engage and encourage students and staff to be active. Students and staff made use of the sports centre halls and gym, and activities such as Fightclub, Yoga, social badminton, running groups and a spin bike challenge ran throughout the day. Students were also able to get active whilst competing for the university in BUCS Wednesdays which fell nicely on the same day. 

Across the university, various departments and societies got active by undertaking their own unique challenges such as office table tennis, a scoff and run event and step challenges. In total, One Big Thing helped approximately 2500 students and staff members at Coventry University to get active.  
 
Vince Mayne is Deputy Director of Students Services, Sport, Health and Wellbeing at Coventry University: 
"One Big Thing came from Coventry University. It ran as a university project, we've now done it in the city so now its a Coventry Project, and its about giving people a focus, something to say 'right I'm going to start today'. Being physically active is beneficial in terms of your mental health and obviously your physical wellbeing too. At the university we're trying to educate the whole person, not just the student here, making sure they go away with an aptitude for physical activity for later life. What we know from research is that students who take part in sport and physical activity at university will earn more than students who don’t take part, but they'll also have a greater life long level of participation in sport and physical activity which also increases the likelihood of living longer. There's a good maxim - exercise may not add years to your life, but it will add life to your years. So if we can get a whole load of people in Coventry active, that’s fantastic, and the idea started here." 
 
Dr Gemma Pearce is from the Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research at Coventry University: 
"Taking part in physical activity isn't just about health, we really want it to be much more fun and much more social, which is another thing that Coventry University especially are working really hard on - to improve peoples fun and social activities when they're taking part." 
 
Arnold Mauragas, International Business Management student at Coventry University, got involved in football badminton in between classes: 
"It's a good day, because actually I like football a lot and after playing this game I feel energised for the whole day!" 
 
Charlotte Harwood from Coventry University Careers & Employability centre got involved in One Big Thing on her lunch break: 
"Going back to work this afternoon, I'll feel more productive and more awake rather than tired and lethargic. I think it's something we should do more often." 
 
Visit www.coventry.gov.uk/onebigthing to read more.
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