Minster-born Paralympian table tennis player Ross Wilson is one of 22 elite English athletes taking part in #22for22, a video series encouraging people to exercise at home as the country goes through its third lockdown.
#22for22, set up by Birmingham 2022 and Team England, features recognisable faces from different Commonwealth sports. Each will demonstrate a simple exercise which can be done from the comfort of home, including workouts that don’t require equipment or that use items found around the house.
The Commonwealth champion was tasked with performing an exercise linked to his sport that a member of the public might be able to replicate at home. In his video, he demonstrates some stretching exercises including a hip flexor stretch which can be done using a chair or the sofa.
Ross, 25, first picked up a table tennis bat as a young boy on a family holiday and showed an instant talent for the sport. He went on to be ranked as one of the top 10 juniors in the country.
In 2011, Ross was diagnosed with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, a condition affecting the growth of his bones. At the age of 17, Ross was the youngest member of the Paralympics GB team at the London 2012 Paralympics where he won a team bronze medal and in 2018, he won the TT6-10 Para table tennis title at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games before becoming men’s class 8 World champion later that year.
Shown over 22 consecutive days on Birmingham 2022 and Team England’s social media channels, viewers can get involved by trying the exercises and are even encouraged to film and upload their efforts to social media.
The fitness-themed content, featuring other athletes such as world champion gymnast Joe Fraser and Commonwealth medallist racewalker Tom Bosworth, aims to inspire members of the public to stay active at home as the country experiences its third national lockdown. It comes at a time when gyms are closed, grassroots sport postponed, and outdoor exercise limited to once per day – rules that are set to last until at least February 15.
Ross said: “We all know how important it is to keep our bodies and minds as healthy as we can right now but being stuck at home can be challenging. Even just a small dose of exercise every day will not only keep you fit, but it will leave you feeling energised and will do wonders for your mental health too.
“I hope that people see our #22for22 videos and feel inspired to move their bodies. Workouts don’t need to be complicated, it’s often the simplest exercises that are the best for us.”
Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022, said: “Stepping outside for our daily exercise is so important right now, but there are certain scenarios when this might not possible. Perhaps you’re having to self-isolate, or even the mid-winter weather stops you from getting out, so it’s just as important that we remember to stay active while we stay at home too.
“Who better to get inspiration from than a Team England athlete? I’d encourage people from all ages and abilities to give these exercises a go. I’m certainly looking forward to trying them out.”
Paul Blanchard, Commonwealth Games England CEO, added: “We are so proud of the athletes taking part in the #22for22 campaign, encouraging their communities to join in and keep active during a time when it’s not easy to find motivation,”
For more information about #22for22 and to watch the athletes’ videos, please visit: www.birmingham2022.com/22for22