Olympic legend Jonathan Edwards praises Fenland’s community projects during London 2012 tour

LEGENDARY Olympian Jonathan Edwards praised Fenland’s efforts to inspire a lasting sporting legacy from London 2012 during an exclusive tour of the Olympic Park.

Representatives from Fenland District Council were shown around the �7bn facility as two of the district’s community projects were awarded the coveted ‘Inspire Mark’.

The mobile gym, which has seen more than 2,000 visits since its launch, and the Fenland Sports Stars of the Future campaign were both singled out for special praise.

The former Olympic champion said: “You have the stadium and the magic of the Olympics here in London but then you have that same 2012 spirit in the community projects of Fenland.

“These projects are a great advert for the area. To have a mobile gym going around such a rural community is great. It’s that Olympic spirit that’s about being the best that you can be and making the best of your life.

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“I never believed that I could be good enough to be in the Olympics. I grew up in a rural community like Fenland and I loved my sport but I never had that aspiration level.

“To have these schemes that help people live out their dreams is amazing - they give people the confidence to achieve.

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“I often think how easily I could have missed out on an athletic career so to have as many projects as possible makes sure that talent is not missed out on.”

The Inspire Mark was awarded to more than 90 projects from across the East of England. It is the first time that community projects have been able to use the Olympic logo for their activities.

Verity Allen, Fenland’s Youth Activities Co-ordinator, said: “It was an amazing day. It’s great to be able to give Fenland’s residents a piece of the Olympics.

“Projects like these make our district a part of such a massive event and that’s amazing for a small area like Fenland.”

• The search for Fenland’s brightest sporting talent begins on Monday as the Sports Stars of the Future campaign is launched.

The campaign offers our area’s most talented young sports stars the chance to win free use of all Fenland District Council’s leisure facilities - and the winners’ achievements will be covered in The Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard to help support their careers.

Applicants must be aged 14-18 and should be affiliated to a professional club or have played at a regional or national level.

We want to hear from those who have achieved success in a variety of sports, from footballing prodigies to Olympic hopefuls. If you’ve represented Fenland on the sporting stage, now is your time to be rewarded.

For more information visit: www.fenland.gov.uk/sportstars

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