Every year to celebrate our birthday, YMCAs from across the world come together to take part in a world challenge. The challenge, organised by World YMCA, is a way for YMCAs to engage communities, young people, staff, volunteers and supporters and join together with 119 countries across the world.

To mark this year’s World Challenge, which is taking place on Saturday 2 June, YMCAs across the world are empowering young people by taking steps towards each other. This involves organising activities that will result in participants running, walking, crawling, skipping, hopping, jumping, leaping or dancing the combined distance to every YMCA in the world (75,000 miles).

With a whopping 74,990 miles to cover, this is an impossible feat for an individual. But by pulling on trainers, limbering up and joining together on a global scale, we can blast this challenge out of the water.

How you can get involved

  • Contact your YMCA and find out what activities they have planned.
  • If you’re part of a YMCA, download our events pack, which includes event ideas, promotional resources and evaluation forms.
  • Once you’ve taken part in an activity, record your distance and send World YMCA details, along with a photo!

Recording your activity

  • On the day: Send your photos and videos to photo@ymca.int
  • By 11 June: Complete Reporting Form 1 and email back to challenge@ymca.int with the number of people that took part in your event and their combined distance.
  • By 31 June: Complete Reporting Form 2 and email back to challenge@ymca.int

Please use #ymcachallenge in all your publicity and to follow the latest updates on social media.

A number of YMCAs are already planning big events, including a 100km walk, a mountain climb, and a road run featuring aerobics, health check-ups, family planning services and HIV testing along the way. World YMCA has promised there will be prizes and awards for the biggest and best activities, so get creative!