Coaching chance for Cambridgeshire’s teenagers as Olympic project targets London 2012 legacy
THOUSANDS of young people from across Cambridgeshire will get the chance to win coaching in the sport of their choice in an attempt to leave a legacy from London 2012.
Sportivate - a �32million National Lottery-funded project - will give 14-25-year-olds the chance to receive six to eight weeks of coaching and win tickets to the Olympics which start in July next year.
The legacy programme, launched by Sport England and Living Sport, aims to fulfil the legacy promise made by Seb Coe in Singapore 2005 to “inspire young people to choose sport”.
As part of the Places People Play mass participation programme, Sportivate will see 300,000 teenagers and young adults across England completing sports courses over four years.
Thanks to �489,800 of Lottery investment in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, at least 4593 people will be able to take part in a range of activities including sports such as cricket and rugby and non-traditional activities like archery and fencing.
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Jennie Price, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said: “Lots of young people think sport isn’t for them. I would like them to have the chance to discover whether there is a sport they really enjoy, so this programme is all about choice.
“Everyone who takes part will receive high quality coaching – giving them the confidence and skills which will make them want to keep playing in the future.”
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Two of Fenland’s community projects were handed an Olympic seal of approval in February when they were awarded the coveted ‘Inspire Mark’.
The mobile gym and the Fenland Sports Stars of the Future campaign - run by the Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard in conjunction with Fenland District Council - were both singled out for special praise by legendary Olympian Jonathan Edwards.
Ross Hayward, Living Sport’s lead on Sportivate, said: “This project will have a positive impact for young people and young adults within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
“Living Sport will work in partnership with a wide range of organisations so that activities are delivered with high quality and each project has easily accessible exit routes for continued participation for those engaging in the coaching sessions.”
Sporting Champions - a team of current and retired elite athletes - will visit Sportivate sessions to share their experiences and enthusiasm for sport.
As an additional incentive, teenagers and young adults who stick with sport will have the chance to enter a ballot for free London 2012 tickets.
In order to be eligible for London 2012 Ticketshare, participants will need to complete the sports course, missing no more than one session, and then continue to participate in sport for at least three months.
Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said: “This �32million Lottery programme launched by Sport England will give hundreds of thousands of teenagers and young adults across the country the opportunity to try out and get coached in the sport of their choice.
“I’m sure these same young people will also be inspired when the world’s greatest athletes compete here at next summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games and will then want to stay involved in sport for many years to come.
Zo� Smith became the youngest ever weightlifting Commonwealth medalist when she won bronze at the 2010 Delhi Games at the age of 16.
Smith, who now has her sights set on competing at London 2012, said: “Getting the chance to get out and try a new sport is fantastic.
“I didn’t take up my sport until I was 12, so it just shows if you’re up for some fun and trying something new, you can find a sport you really want to stick with.”