PEOPLE of all ages and abilities in County Durham are being urged to take up sport to celebrate the 2012 Olympics.
Durham County Council launched its London 2012 legacy programme at a Durham Wildcats basketball match at the weekend, supported by a host of talented sportsmen and women.
Their programme called “Join in...” runs from today for 20 weeks up to the Olympic flame’s arrival, and then for 12 weeks afterwards.
The campaign aims to:
Increase participation in sporting and cultural events and activities; provide a lasting legacy post the 2012 Games.
Showcase County Durham as a place to live, love and visit.
Encourage sporting events of regional, national and world importance. Encourage and celebrate excellence in the county.
Celebrate Olympic values through international links and shared learning.
Leader of the council Simon Henig said: “I know that many thousands of residents will be inspired by the Olympic flame as it passes through at least 20 of our towns and villages this June.
“We want to capture that moment in history and use it to provide a lasting legacy for our younger residents.
“London 2012 offers us a once in a lifetime opportunity to help our residents to ‘Join in…’ something new.
“Our programme links into what is already on offer in our thriving communities to ensure that new interests or activities can continue. I hope it will prove life-changing for some and enjoyable for all.”
Lord Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee, said: “‘Join in…’ is encouraging young people in County Durham to fulfil their potential. I am proud that with the help of partners such as Durham County Council we are delivering our vision to use the power of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to boost participation in the county.”
Paralympics swimming hopeful Lyndon Longhorne from Crook, County Durham, added: “I’m happy to support ‘Join in... 2012’. It's a great way to encourage people to take part in sport or other activities in whatever way they can and I hope that I can help inspire others to have a go at one, or more, of the many activities taking place.”
Events planned include a competition for local people to submit interesting sporting facts/history about their area. These will feed into the sporting themed walks which will be developed and launched at a walking festival in May.
Activities will take place in schools, sports clubs, cultural and sporting facilities and in some of the county’s finest outdoor settings.
And the county will host an International Youth Games tournament this summer featuring athletics, swimming, fencing, indoor rowing and gymnastics.