OLYMPIC EXCITEMENT TAKES HOLD AS 80,000 INSPIRED GET INTO SPORT
Published on: 6th June 2012
With less than 60 days to the beginning of the Olympic Games, excitement is growing throughout the country as more and more young people take up sport in their own time.
Whether its dreams of being the next Rebecca Adlington or Mo Farah or just wanting to try a sport out for the first time, new figures published this week reveal that almost 80,000 16-to 25-year olds have been inspired to take part in Sportivate, with 50,000 of them getting involved in sport in the past three months.
The National Lottery-funded legacy programme aims to give young people who currently aren’t playing sport in their own time the chance to find a sport they enjoy. Teenagers and young adults throughout the country have received six to eight weeks of coaching in a sport of their choice, with sessions ranging from the traditional to the non-traditional.
“From canoeing to handball, tens of thousands of young people have found the sport that makes them tick thanks toSportivate and are now forming a sporting habit for life,” said Richard Lewis, Chair of Sport England. “This is the Olympic legacy in action and it’s fantastic to see.”
Hundreds of the young people who completed their sports course and have continued to play sport for at least three months afterwards are also set to receive free Olympics and Paralympics tickets after they were entered a ballot through the London 2012 Ticketshare initiative.
Nine regional programme winners were also recognised this week for the inspiring work with young people, with three winners – Twilight Football, CanDance and Rowing in 2012 – receiving further acclaim for their outstanding work at an awards ceremony with the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP, in the House of Commons later this month.
“Sportivate shows how hosting the Olympic and Paralympics Games is inspiring young people to take up sport,” said Hugh Robertson MP. “Congratulations to all the projects across the country involved particularly Twilight Football, Can Dance and Rowing in 2012 who are being recognised for their fantastic work with young people.”
Twilight Football has been linked to decrease in anti-social behaviour in Ipswich through organised football matches for teenagers on Friday evenings, while CanDance has created six new inclusive youth dance groups in Cumbria for young people with learning disabilities such as autism.
Working with local schools, colleges, young offender institutions and groups supporting young disabled people, Rowing in 2012 has given more than 100 young people in Buckinghamshire the chance to get involved in rowing.
Part of Sport England’s Places People Play legacy programme,Sportivate is being delivered by the network of 49 county sports partnerships which have worked with local clubs and providers to run 6,428 projects across the country in the last nine months.