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  • Writer's pictureFraser Urquhart Media

Exercise ‘Round The World’ With VAL And Mencap This January

Mencap has announced that the VALUES team at Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) has been specially selected to host a launch event on the 29th January for the Round the World Challenge 2020.

This pioneering sports programme is run in partnership with Sport England and The National Lottery. It was set up to support people with a learning disability, encouraging them to get out and get active in a way that is flexible, fun and empowering.

People with a learning disability face huge inequalities throughout all aspects of their lives. As well as the health benefits of increasing physical activity, research has shown that getting people with a learning disability involved in sport can help boost their confidence in other areas of life, including securing employment, reducing loneliness, building friendships and playing a full part in their communities.

Those taking part in the Round the World Challenge can register the time spent on any type of exercise each week – from walking rugby and Zumba, to football and tennis – and this is then used to calculate the distance travelled ‘round the world.’

This year, the VALUES team at VAL has been chosen to host one of the official launch events for the national scheme, which will be taking place at Aylestone Leisure Centre on Wednesday 29th January from 1-4pm.

Anyone wishing to find out more, or wanting to register to take part, are invited to come down, where there will be coaching available from both LCFC and the Leicester Tigers, trial sessions on offer to kick-start the challenge and members of the VALUES and Mencap teams on hand to answer any questions. There will also be a special guest appearance from Leicester Tigers player Harry Wells between 1:30 – 2:30pm.

Joe, a Round the World Challenge finisher who has progressed to become a volunteer for the programme, said: “The Round the World Challenge has helped me to get active and feel happier and healthier, and I am so proud to have done over 100 hours of activity and completed the challenge! The most important things for me have been the chance to get out, get to know new people and make friends, and it’s also helped me to better communicate and work with people. I think it’s really important that the programme is now going to help more people across the country the way it’s helped me.”

Joe continued: “I also got involved in Round the World Challenge because I wanted to build my confidence to start volunteering, and I now volunteer at the Round the World Challenge programme in Loughborough which has helped me to learn new skills and work towards my goal of getting a job in the sports sector one day.”

Abdul Hameed, sports co-trainer at the learning disability charity Mencap and who has a learning disability, said: “Round the World Challenge helps people with a learning disability feel included. It gives people a fair chance to play a sport of their choice, do something they love and not feel isolated. Through working with Sport England we have done some amazing things and it’s very exciting that we will make an even bigger difference to people’s lives this year. When you see people with a learning disability finish Round the World Challenge it is inspiring. You think if they can do it, then I can do it too. Hopefully people will see this and come join the fun.”

Mikaela Paterson, VALUES Manager at Voluntary Action LeicesterShire, added: “The team and I are very excited to have been chosen to host the official launch of this year’s Round the World Challenge with Mencap. At VALUES, we help people with learning disabilities to be independent, make new friends and have fun. The challenge is a fantastic way of encouraging this and we can’t wait to welcome everyone on the 29th.”

To find out more about the Mencap Round the World Challenge, please visit

To find out more about VALUES, please visit or call 0116 2575050

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