“The athletics series has given me the opportunity to do what I love – to run”
With just under a fortnight to go until the Opening Ceremony, it’s a good time to remember just how far the legacy of these Games has reached.
Palau is one of the small islands of Micronesia in the Western Pacific Ocean, and one of the first five countries to be chosen to be involved in International Inspiration, the international legacy programme which has been supporting young people since 2007.
One huge success story from this new initiative is 13-year-old Ruby. Before the athletics series, there was no formal provision for athletes in Palau’s elementary schools so Ruby’s talent remained unnoticed.
Today, Ruby has become a role model at her school and she has represented her country at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. ‘The athletics series has given me the opportunity to do what I love – to run,” she said. “I have gained so much confidence through the competition.”
‘It is better to get involved in volunteering rather than drugs on the streets’
In just a few weeks time, Olympic athletes’ thoughts will turn to Rio 2016, but the international legacy of these Games has already reached young people in the next host country.
International Inspiration is bringing to life the promise made by the London 2012 bid team to reach young people all around the world and connect them to the power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport. It is active in Brazil’s north-eastern region, where 13 million children live. Efforts are focused on providing opportunities to play sport to a population that has few qualified PE teachers and sports facilities in schools.
The programme is supporting ‘Segundo Tempo’, a national after-school scheme which focuses on sporting activities. Through this project, four million young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who would otherwise not have the opportunity to access sport will benefit by 2016. With the support of local authorities, children and young people are now able to enjoy their right to play and experience better PE classes and sport. What’s more, through a project initiated by the GLA and the Youth Sport Trust, the Segundo Tempo model is being piloted in London.
Cibele, 18 said: “It is better to get involved in volunteering rather than drugs on the streets. I encourage people to get involved in International Inspiration. It’s full of good experiences and can help you achieve your own goals.”
From Nottingham to Njombe… Torch showcases international legacy
The Olympic flame may now be in Nottingham, but thanks to the young people carrying the Torch today, the spirit of London 2012 is also being felt thousands of miles away.
Twenty young people are being recognised for their role in the International Inspiration legacy programme, which is using the power of sport to inspire people around the world.
Among them is 19-year-old Pinky from India who runs sports sessions for the young people in her community as well as acting as an advocate on issues such as child marriage and adult literacy.
London 2012 Organising Committee Chair Seb Coe said:
“All 20 of the International Inspiration Torchbearers have been a real inspiration in their community and demonstrate the impact sport can have on a person’s life.”
The International Inspiration programme is now running in 20 countries, including Zambia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Uganda, and has reached more than 12 million young people.
Find out more on the London 2012 website.
London 2012 reaches East Africa
The great Haile Gebrselassie may not be competing in London this summer, but his legendary status is helping to inspire thousands of young Ethiopians through a London 2012 international legacy programme.
The International Inspiration project is specifically using sport to promote inclusion, especially amongst marginalised children and those with disabilities who might otherwise find themselves excluded.
Supported by the Ethiopian Government, the programme is helping more young people to play sport, build confidence and learn leadership skills, as well as forging links between 15 UK and Ethiopian schools.
Gebrselassie, who helped launch the programme, said: “Physical education is one of the most important tools available to schools to help develop young people’s leadership skills and give them confidence, irrespective of gender or ability.”
More than 12 million children and young people in 20 countries are benefiting from the International Inspiration programme, which is using sport to change lives around the world.