Oxford residents and activity organisers encouraged to #ChallengeMayorMark

Published: Monday, 26th July 2021

Oxford residents are being encouraged to #ChallengeMayorMark to join them at their favourite physical activity session.

In January 2021, Oxford City Council and the Lord Mayor, Councillor Mark Lygo launched a campaign to encourage people in Oxford to get active and move more often throughout 2021 and beyond. Now, the Lord Mayor is aiming to raise awareness of the indoor sessions, classes, and groups returning across the city; as well as those various activities taking place outdoors.

The Council is encouraging residents and activity organisers to #ChallengeMayorMark to come along and have a go – in a COVID safe way – at their favourite activity.

The Move with Mayor Mark campaign focuses on sharing ideas and opportunities with people so everyone can move and be more active every day whether at home, in one of the many green spaces of Oxford or by participating in one of the various organised activity sessions.

Since the campaign first launched, it has shared over 30 videos of activities ranging from walking and jogging, yoga, pilates, skipping, swimming, rugby, bootcamps, and even working out whilst doing the washing up.

Partners who have been involved in the campaign have included Fusion Lifestyle, Age UK Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire Mind, Street Tag, Oxford Harlequins RFC, Brave Mind, Be Military Fit, Premier Tennis, NHS Better Health workouts, NHS Couch to 5K and the EXi app.


Residents or activity organisers who would like to #ChallengeMayorMark to join in their physical activity should email sportsandphysicalactivity@oxford.gov.uk 

The #ChallengeMayorMark emails should include:

  • Resident/organiser name
  • Contact details
  • Activity name and details
  • Why the Lord Mayor of Oxford should take part in the activity

Helping the NHS and staying healthy

Moving more is key to helping our NHS by improving our overall physical and mental health and wellbeing and therefore relieving pressure on our local healthcare services.

Physical activity helps lower blood pressure, improves heart and lung health, strengthens muscles and bones, improves balance, supports weight management, and increases flexibility and mobility.

It also boosts mental health by reducing stress and anxiety and improving sleep.

“This has been a tough year for so many people; including our local physical activity coaches, instructors clubs, and businesses - so we want to do what we can to shine a light on these and encourage people to go along, get involved where they can and feel the benefits of moving more.

“Keeping physically active is vital as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Not only is keeping active benefit your mental health, but it can also reduce your risk of developing severe COVID-19 complications and improve recovery time. I would encourage everyone to explore how they build more movement in to their day  – whether that is going for a walk or bike ride, following an online class at home, or joining a local group or sports club.

“I have really enjoyed the #MoveWithMayorMark campaign so far; trying out some new activities and sharing my experiences. Physical activity has always helped me with my physical and mental wellbeing and was a lifeline during this last lockdown; as I know it was for many others out there too.

“Whether you are a community group, voluntary group, or cultural activity, we want to hear from you. I’m really looking forward to being challenged by more local activities to have a go and I hope it helps to show people who may be nervous about getting active, or might not know what is available to them that there are some fantastic and friendly opportunities in Oxford for them whatever their age, ability or circumstance.”

Councillor Mark Lygo, Lord Mayor of Oxford

More information about the campaign can be found on the #MoveWithMayorMark webpages.