Colors: Yellow Color

British Athletics are joining forces with British Cycling and British Rowing’ and iconic BBC children’s television show Blue Peter to run, cycle and row the distance from Manchester to Tokyo in just 30 days.

Now officially launched, the ‘Train Your Way to Tokyo’ challenge will see Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell team up with athletes from athletics, cycling and rowing to cover the 9948km distance from the Blue Peter studio in Salford to the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo.

Averaging at over 300km a day across the 30 days, Lindsey will try her hand at all three sports and get an insight into how Olympic and Paralympic athletes are currently training.

She will combine her total with the athletes taking part, all completing the challenge from inside their own homes or outdoors within the current government guidance.

Lindsey will be mentored by five-time European champion Laura Muir for the running part of the challenge while British teammates Charlotte Purdue, Melissa Courtney-Bryant, Callum Hawkins, Oliver Dustin, Alex Botterill and Derek Rae among others are counting their kilometres covered in training over the 30-day period towards the overall total. From cycling, Olympic and world champion Elinor Barker is acting as a mentor to Lindsey as is Paralympic and world champion from rowing, Lauren Rowles.

The group effort is running until June 16 with the final film being shown on Blue Peter on June 18 at 17:30 on CBBC and iPlayer. The 2020 Sport Badge was designed by a Blue Peter viewer to celebrate the Olympic Games in Tokyo. To earn a sport badge, kids aged 6-15 must try a new way of getting active.

Five-time European champion, Laura, said: “It is great to be supporting Lindsey as part of Blue Peter’s ‘Train Your Way to Tokyo’ challenge. I loved the show when I was growing up and so jumped at the opportunity to take part. It was so exciting to receive the new Blue Peter badge and I hope everyone watching can learn something along the way.

“I’ll be contributing my normal training miles as part of the challenge and I am excited to be offering my support and tips and advice to Lindsey – I have no doubt she will do a fantastic job.”

Olympic and world champion Elinor Barker said: “I’m enjoying being part of the Train Your way to Tokyo challenge with Blue Peter and already in our first week, myself and my Great Britain Cycling Team teammates have clocked up a good number of kilometres in training to help Lindsey on her way. Hopefully, we will help to inspire the audience to take up more activity themselves especially as we’re in this difficult period of lockdown.”

Paralympic and world champion Lauren Rowles MBE added: “I’m incredibly excited to be part of the Train Your Way to Tokyo challenge with Blue Peter and our friends at British Cycling and British Athletics. During these tough times it’s more important than ever for kids and parents to stay active and I hope this challenge inspires them to get involved in sport and take on new challenges”.

Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell said: “Though I’ve completed many Blue Peter challenges, I’ve never taken on a multisport challenge quite like this. It’s daunting but I can’t wait to train with these incredible athletes and hopefully show what can be achieved by working together, all from our own homes.”

Cricket West Indies have agreed “in principle” to the Test tour of England, in July, although players and staff will have to take a 50% pay cut.

The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) is expected to announce a revamped summer schedule next week.

The three-Test series between England and the West Indies is set to start on July 8.

The matches are set to be played behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment at the Ageas Bowl – which is the home of Hampshire C.C.C. and Lancashire C.C.C.’s Old Trafford ground.

The series must first be approved by the UK government and, under the current rules, the West Indies squad would have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

A Cricket West Indies statement said: ‘The board gave approval in principle for the proposed tour of England.

“The decision comes only after Cricket West Indies medical and cricket-related representatives and advisors have been involved in detailed discussions with the ECB and its own medical and public health advisors”.

In the earlier part of May the International Cricket Council revealed plans to ban the use of saliva to shine the cricket ball amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier League champions-elect Liverpool took a knee around the centre circle at their Anfield home ground to send out a message of support following the brutal death in police custody of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis.

A picture shows 29 of the club’s players together with the caption ‘Unity is strength. #BlackLivesMatter’.

Other footballers showed their support with Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford of fellow Premier League giants Manchester United adding their voices to the worldwide protests against racism.

In Germany, England forward Jaden Sancho also showed his support for the protest by unveiling a T-shirt with the words ‘Just for George Floyd’ after scoring the first girl before completing a hat-trick for Borussia Dortmund in their Bundusliga game against Paderborn.

He was shown a yellow card for his gesture.

He later wrote on his Instagram: ‘Delighted to get my first hat-trick, a bittersweet moment personally as there are more important things going on in the world today that we must address and help make a change.

‘We shouldn’t fear speaking out for what’s right, we have to come together as one & fight for justice.

‘We are stronger together!

‘#JusticeForFloydGeorge.’

In their game against Union Berlin, Borussia Moenchengladbach’s French striker Marcus Thuram celebrated the first of his two goals for the club by also taking a knee in support of George Floyd.

In 2016, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick protested against racial injustice and police brutality by taking a knee with the Black Power symbol of clenching his fist skywards during the United States national anthem.

Since then, the gesture has become symbolic to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Kaepernick’s stance was his way of replicating the Black Power gesture carried out by US Olympics medal-winning athletes Tommy Smith and John Carlos who both held their single clenched, black-gloved fists in protest against Black injustices in their country whilst on the medals podium as the US national anthem was being played during the 1968 Games in Mexico City.

At Liverpool, a point was made as each of the players stood around the centre circle whilst facing a camera that was high up in the stand, was they emphasised their point by wearing different versions of the club kit – some in red, others in their black away colour

They became the first Premier League club to publically offer support to the Black Lives Mattermovement,

 

The Olympic Federation of Ireland’s call for exemptions to current Covid-19 restrictions to assist athletes has been supported by Irish competitors.

The Federation says that restrictions including a 5km travel limit in the Republic, puts athletes “at a significant disadvantage that may become too big to breach”.

Peter Sherrard, the OFI’s chief executive, said: “The solution is a simple waiver”.

He added that different restrictions and thus training options in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was a “concern”.

He also noted that Banbridge rower, Phillip Doyle, is training on the River Lagan and is unable to travel to the National Rowing Centre in Cork.

“There are also issues with UK guidelines on swimming for example and Irish athletes are wondering what system are they in”, he said.

Sherrand believes that a waiver would help “this small number of athletes so that they can travel the required distance to train, just as their competitors, internationally, have been granted weeks ago.

Frustrations of this nature are being experienced by elite athletes from a variety of sports.

“Our Olympics sports have all prepared very detailed protocols which have been reviewed medically for a return to the venues like the Sport Ireland Campus, the Sport Ireland Institute and the National Aquatic Centre and National Rowing Centre, in advance of, and in isolation from the general public as is happening in other European countries”.

 

England footballer was among a number of sports stars to add their voice to the worldwide protest against growing racism.

Protests have been held after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died while being restrained by Minneapolis police.

Sancho unveiled a ‘Justice 4 George Floyd’ T-shirt after scoring for Borussia Dortmund in their match against Paderborn.

He went on to complete the first hat-trick of his young career in his first start since the Bundesliga returned to action.

Earlier, Sancho’s teammate Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring in the game.

In other sports, Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown led a massive peaceful protest through downtown Atlanta, Georga, after putting out the call on social media for people to meet at the Martin Luther King Jr. national History Park after saying; “I will be peacefully protesting tomorrow.

LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick and Stephen Curry were among other high-profile sports stars in the US to speak out of the George Floyd death with James sharing a side-by-side image of the officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck and Kaepernick kneeling on the sidelines during the national anthem.

James, who is often vocal about issues facing Black Americans, wrote; ‘Do you understand NOW!!?? Or is it still blurred to you??”

Other stars who voiced their protests include tennis’ latest teenage sensation Coco Gauff, NFL’s number one draft pick for 20220, Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Brown wide receiver Odel Beckham Jr.

Protesters took to the streets in New York, Detroit, Oakland, Dallas, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Denver, Atlanta, Portland and other US cities whilst outdoor protests also took place throughout the UK as thousands converged onto Trafalgar Square and the US Embassy in London, in Manchester city centre and Cardiff, in South Wales, in the UK, as well as in Canada and Germany

Denying the legitimacy of the protests in the US, President Trump stated, in defiance of fellow what Republicans and Democrats, by saying that there is “no racism” in the police force.

The police officer at the centre of the tragedy, Derek Chauvin, was sacked and has been charged with third degree murder of 46-year-old Floyd.

 

Tennis ace, Andy Murray, is set to play in a tournament that has been organised by his brother, Jamie, to raise money for the NHS Charities Together.

The ‘Schroder Battle of the Brits’ tournament is due to take place behind closed doors at the National Tennis Centre, in Roehampton, from June 23 to 28.

The tournament, which will have both singles and doubles champions, will be featuring the likes of current GB greats such as Dan Evens and Kyle Edmund and it will be shown on the Amazon Prime platform.

It is hoped that the event will raise somewhere in excess of £100,000 for the NHS charities.

Jamie Murray said: “The last few months have been incredibly challenging times for everyone and we see this event as our way of giving back.

“A lot of work has been put into making sure that this could happen and we are excited to be able to bring an action-packed week of tennis, while raising valuable funds for NHS heroes and sheroes to say thank you for the amazing work that you are doing”.

He added: “I am really excited to be, for the first time, bringing together the current generation of top British male players to compete against one another while raising significant funds for charity”.

Andy Murray has not played any competitive tennis since the Davis Cup Finals in November due to a bruised pelvic bone, but he has been contemplating a return to the ATP Tour in Miami in late March when professional tennis was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.