Summer – a time of year for beaches, sunbathing, Pimms and barbecues. And of course the summer months hold some iconic sporting competitions too. The Tour de France, the Olympics (when they come around), our very own Wimbledon, and this summer – the FIFA Women’s World Cup (go Lionesses!)

I’m always pretty inspired by the dedication and skill of these athletes. I mean have you seen the speed of Serena Williams’ serve, or those mountains Tour de France cyclists sprint up?! With so much inspiration, it’s the perfect time to make the most of those long summer nights and get active. Plus it’s a great opportunity to fundraise for charity too!

Get involved

On an amateur level, there’s also events set up all over the country for everyday people to get involved in. The London Marathon, Great North Run, The Royal Parks (half marathon), Race for Life (5 or 10k) and Prudential Ride London to name but a few.

If you’re anything like me and have gone to cheer a friend on in a sporting event, you’ll catch the bug bad and end up spontaneously signing up to something! It was one of these moments that led me to apply for a place in Prudential Ride London this summer. It’s a London-Surrey 100 mile round trip. At the time I had no concept of what 100 miles on a bike looks like. Turns out it’s rather a long way!

Despite the initial feelings of trepidation, there’s nothing quite like signing up for a challenge to motivate getting fit. But the best bit is, fitness isn’t the only reward for the efforts of training!

1) Mental health

Exercise has so many benefits for your mental health, as well as your physical health. Regular training sessions can leave you buzzing with adrenaline, which is a great stress and anxiety release. Altogether sport is great for supporting all round positive mental health

2) Grow you

Signing up to something a new sport or a distance you’ve never travelled is a huge challenge! But it’s also a huge opportunity for self-development. These challenges push you outside your comfort zone and let you reap the rewards when you seen how far you’ve come!

3) Get fundraising!

Signing up for a crazy challenge is a great way to fundraise for a charity of your choice. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be an Iron Man or a marathon – choose a challenge that will stretch you but is achievable. Not only will you be raising money for a great cause, but it gives you extra motivation to keep going!

So why not get out, get active, and sign up for a sporting event near you? Google will be your friend if you’re not familiar with what’s going on in your local area. You could even get involved in your local Run to Beat Poverty event. Or if you’re already signed up for an event and want to raise money for Tearfund, you can find out more information about fundraising and getting sponsorship here.