Rugby sevens players are joining forces with fellow Olympic athletes to encourage people all around the globe to ‘stay active’ as part of the annual Olympic Day commemorations on 23 June.
Fiji’s inspirational star Meli Derenalagi has joined more than 20 athletes from other Olympic sports to feature in the official Olympic Day workout video as part of the world’s largest 24-hour digital Olympic workout.
To mark Olympic Day, World Rugby’s social media channels will also be reliving Fiji and Australia’s incredible journeys to claim the men’s and women’s gold medals respectively at the Rio 2016 Games.
Meanwhile current stars of the sport will be discussing their hopes and expectations for the Tokyo Games next year, and picking their team mates best suited for other Olympic events in a video strand called Sprint. Surf. Climb.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world into lockdown and the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, close to 5,000 Olympians have engaged with a remarkable 243 million people online across more than 50 countries in the IOC’s #StayStrong, #StayActive, #StayHealthy campaign by sharing their daily workouts and uplifting tips on how to stay healthy in body and mind.
It is proven that physical activity improves mental health, helps beat negative thoughts, lowers stress and depression, and strengthens the immune system and many rugby sevens players have shared unique and creative ways to keep active during this period.
The IOC ‘Stay Active’ campaign compliments World Rugby’s own ‘Activate’ programme, launched in 2019 as a ground-breaking preventive exercise programme designed to reduce injuries and contribute to player performance. Rugby players, parents and coaches are all encouraged to download the free Activate resources, including a useful online ‘virtual’ training course.
Rugby returned to the Olympic programme at the Rio 2016 Games when the sevens format provided a captivating showcase for the game that saw its fan-base increase by almost 17 million in six key territories, with Tokyo 2020 expected to unearth an estimated 30 million new fans worldwide.
The high-octane spectacle that is rugby sevens is expected to be a hot ticket at the Games in Tokyo, which have been rescheduled to 23 July-8 August, 2021, following the huge success of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, which was a catalyst for national pride growth in Japan, capturing the imagination, growing rugby interest and leaving a positive legacy for the sport, according to the latest research.