Maximising the impact and securing a legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is essential for community sport and it’s happening right on our doorstep. Sport makes a positive contribution to our everyday living on so many levels: its contribution to our health and well-being, and its tremendous ability to bring communities together and teach young people valuable life skills. Furthermore, it’s fun!
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games can provide the catalyst to enthuse many of us and particularly our young people to create a sporting habit for life, and it is for these reasons that I was delighted to attend a recent cheque handover ceremony organised by Sport England following the awarding of investment from its Inspired Facilities legacy fund to two local projects in the Chelmsford area.
The £92,500 awarded to Chelmsford Borough Council will help to provide two new outdoor “adizone” sporting arenas in Andrews Park and Central Park, and the £49,263 awarded to Galleywood Playing Fields Management Committee will be used to provide a new pitched roof for the sports pavilion, the installation of solar panels to reduce operating costs and the provision of 2 new secure storage units for playing equipment.
As part of the legacy programme, Sport England is funding Active Essex to deliver two of its legacy programmes – Sport Makers and Sportivate - across Essex. “Sport Makers” aims to recruit, train and deploy 40,000 people as the next generation of sports volunteers to organise and lead grassroots sporting activities across the country, whilst “Sportivate” is providing opportunities for teenagers and young adults from 14 up to 25 years to receive six weeks of coaching in the sport of their choice and guide them into regular participation.
If you feel inspired to volunteer in your local community, the Sport Makers programme might be just right for you to get started; alternatively if you are aged 14-25 and want to get active, contact the team at Active Essex to find out what is going on locally. If your local sports club or playing field needs improvement to help increase participation then Sport England might be able to provide just the support you need through their Places, People, Play programme.
As we wait to welcome the Olympic Flame to the City of Chelmsford on its route to London 2012, I look forward to seeing many of our residents in the coming months through a range of 2012 inspired events. Enjoy your sport! ENDS