RUNNING a marathon is an amazing achievement, 26 miles isn’t something to be sniffed at. So imagine what it is like preparing to run a distance of 2850 miles in 53 days. The current female record is 69 days but Mimi Anderson, who is often billed as a granny and is 43 years old, whether this is relevant or not you decide, is determined to do it in just 53 days.

This adventure will be captured by a film crew from Scrumptious Productions and they have built a complete project around this to engage with women and girls in a hope to encourage them into activity.

Hosting a hackathon last weekend in Hampden Park, Carol the Founder and Creative Director of Scrumptious Productions invited a group of young girls to brainstorm and identify the barriers they felt prevented them participating in sport. They also came up with some solutions.

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You can join Mimi and create your own challenge of your own choice. Don’t worry no-one is asking you to cover 2850 miles, but what they are looking for is for you to commit to your own personal challenge for the next 53 days. Check out how to get involved at http://mimiandmefor53.co.uk/

Now while it is generally accepted that it takes around 66 days to form a habit according to research by Phillippa Lally from the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre based at UCL Epidemiology and Public Health, I think if you get 53 days under your belt you will want to continue with this new found healthy lifestyle.

ANOTHER group of people setting up good habits are the Scottish National Governing Bodies of Sport. Again at Hampden last week – it’s beginning to feel life I never left the place – sportscotland hosted their bi-annual Equalities and Inclusion Conference and it was heartening to see huge numbers come out and support this day.

It was a good feeling to know that sports are being encouraged rather than penalised to work on their equalities and inclusion strategy. All sports there were very positive about supporting this agenda to ensure that equality and inclusion becomes an integral part of their organisation.

This approach is not about beating sports over the head with a large stick, it’s about discussing the issues and collectively looking for a solution. Every sport will move at a different speed and this is based on many factors, the sport itself, its infrastructure, staff resources etc. but the feeling was so positive in the room, that you couldn’t help but feel happy that sport in Scotland is moving pace with the social changes in our country.

This also ties in with the new approach towards ‘Sport for change’. For quite a while many people looked at Sport for Change as something that was added onto sport and not ‘real’ sport. However after some really good work from The Robertson Trust, Sport for Change will now become a focus for development.

As chair of Scottish Sport Futures I know the good work carried out through the sport for change agenda, using basketball and judo as their predominant sports as their particular ‘hook’ sports.

This new approach will be extremely beneficial bringing all areas of sport together by creating a commitment towards inclusion at all levels in sport. It will also benefit a lot of sports long term as they will have a wider reach into their local community to encourage more people to participate in sport.

There are many positive stories that have come out of this approach and one which is having amazing success on and off the park is Street Soccer, funded by the wonderful David Duke. News from Oslo this week, from the Homeless World Cup is that Scotland’s male and female teams finished the tournament on a high. The men won the New Balance Trophy whilst the women lifted the Fretex Cup. Congratulations to all involved.

Changing lives through sport is not something new, it’s was there all the time, all we needed was to understand that it is not all about the elite and winning, changing lives using sport as a hook has always been possible, we are now just beginning to understand and harness the power of this approach.