Community Games News
Olympic Torch to arrive in the West Midlands
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) have now confirmed all 73 communities in the West Midlands through which the Olympic Flame will be carried by Torchbearers during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
The route will see the Olympic Flame in the region on 24th, 25th, 30th and 31st May and between 30th June and 2nd July next year, being carried through rural villages such as Ledbury, iconic towns such as Much Wenlock and Stratford-upon-Avon and across major urban areas such as the Black Country visiting towns such as Smethwick. The Torch Relay will also take in landmarks along the way and the Olympic Flame will be carried for sections of the route by a variety of modes of transport. The Flame will be carried past iconic sights such as Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site in Telford and the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire, as well as travelling on a canal boat and a tram at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley.
With the Olympic Flame shining a light on these different communities the Olympic Torch Relay will be an opportunity for the people of the West Midlands to connect with the Olympic Games, its values and its spirit. Many thousands of people are expected to welcome the Olympic Flame and celebrate the achievements of the Torchbearers along the route each day.
A list of the host communities in the West Midlands and other highlights announced today are available to download from here and Olympic Torch Relay images are available here. People are invited to view the interactive map at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelaymap to find their nearest community through which the Olympic Flame will be carried.
David Moorcroft, West Midlands for 2012 Chair said: ‘Today’s announcement is a real opportunity for communities across the West Midlands to start thinking about how they will welcome the Olympic Flame to their villages, towns and cities in 2012 and kick start their own Olympic celebrations, perhaps by organising a Community Games. For many of us seeing the Olympic Torch Relay will be a once in a lifetime experience and we are delighted that 100% of the West Midlands population will be no more than an hour away from the Olympic Flame as it passes through our region.’
Paralympic Champion Chris Holmes visits Stourport Sports Club to support Community Games
Chris Holmes MBE, Director of Paralympic Integration for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, today visited Stourport Sports Club, Worcestershire.
Chris Holmes met organisers and participants of Community Games, a regional Legacy Trust UK programme to encourage communities to stage their own events in celebration of London 2012. He also met pupils from nearby Stourport High School and tried his hand at such activities as cycling, netball and athletics.
The visit marked a home-coming for the Kidderminster-born swimmer, who has won a total of nine golds, five silvers and one bronze medal at the Paralympic Games. He is now Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012.
Community Games is a West Midlands-based programme that encourages people to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by organising their own community events. The programme is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Games.
Stourport Sports Club hosted its own Community Games on Sunday 11 September, where its four resident sports clubs delivered coaching and demonstrations in a range of activities.
Chris Holmes, Director of Paralympic Integration at London 2012 said:“One of the privileges of my role at London 2012 is that I get the opportunity to travel around the UK finding out about some of the truly fantastic projects that are going on, inspired by the London 2012 Games. Today is one of those days and I’m delighted to be here in Stourport to take part in the Community Games. I’d like to encourage everyone here today and people from across the West Midlands Region to get involved, take the opportunity to apply for tickets for the Paralympic Games and come down to London for what will be a phenomenal summer of sport.”
David Moorcroft, Chair of the West Midlands for 2012 and 500m World Record holder said:"With less than a year to go until the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games now is the time to think about how you are going to get involved. Organising your own Community Games is a fantastic way experience your own Olympic moment within your own community. Make sure you share your stories and tell us how you have been inspired on www.facebook.com/thegamesandme"
Moira Swinbank, Chief Executive of Legacy Trust UK said:
“We are delighted with the huge success Community Games has had across the West Midlands to date, and encourage communities across the region to get involved in creating their own legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by staging their own event. This is a fantastic project to be involved in and is contributing towards a lasting legacy from the Games right across the UK.”
Alexandra Mays, member of the Community Games Organising Committee at Stourport Sports Club, said “Community Games is a fantastic opportunity to bring the community together through the power of sport, using the vehicle of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The effective work of key partners within the Wyre Forest celebrates local sports provision and will also ensure the event becomes sustainable, and has a legacy after 2012.”
Tickets for the London 2012 Paralympic Games are on sale until 6pm on Monday 26 September 2011. People can apply for tickets at www.tickets.london2012.com
Regent College Community Games
Regent College in Stoke-on-Trent held their Community Games over five days in April. Learners at the college, who all have complex and multiple disabilities, were given the opportunity to try out a range of sporting activities that they would not normally have the chance to take part in.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been working with the college and North Staffordshire Special Olympics to promote healthy living and encourage young people to become more involved in sport.
The 30 learners at Regent College participated in an Opening Ceremony, and then a variety of activities including team games, dragon boating, dancing, football – incorporating a tour of Port Vale FC – swimming, track events, orienteering, and boccia. Participating in sporting activity all week helped them to increase their levels of fitness and raise their awareness of the different sporting opportunities available. They also found the time to explore and sample healthy eating options.
Participants developed their social, communication, vocational and independence skills through the Community Games and as a follow-up will be given opportunities to achieve qualifications via the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
Tamworth Fitness Festival
This Community Games event took place on the 4th June 2011 in Tamworth Castle Grounds, we used the mantra live local: play local: support local to gather momentum for the day. It was a resounding success, with as one group quoted 'peals of laughter sounding all day' with activities for young and old, for all levels of fitness.
Local groups enjoyed a surge in interest with one group signing 60 new members on the day (BMX Crusaders). The day engendered a real sense of sporting community and we plan to do it all again, such was the positive feedback. It will be even bigger and better next year and would not hesitate in recommending each and every town to host their own Community Games. A fun packed day for all.
By holding their own Community Games, the inspiration of London 2012 came to Tamworth!
Stivichall Primary Community Games
Hundreds of school children have taken part in a London 2012-inspired day of sport and celebration. A total of 530 children at Stivichall Primary School took part in a Community Games event which saw their annual sports day transformed into a mini-Olympics.
The children demonstrated their creative sides by performing their own colourful opening and closing ceremonies as well as taking part in 26 different sporting activities including sprinting, long jump, javelin and football.
Double Olympian Dave Long visited the event at the school, on Coat of Arms Bridge Road, to share his experiences with the pupils.
Chris Rose, headteacher at the school, said: “We host a sports event every year, but in anticipation of London 2012 we decided this year we would take part in the Community Games. We are celebrating the Olympics and Paralympic themes throughout the year and encouraging the children to get involved in physical activity. Our sports day has always been a Community Games to an extent. The local secondary school Finham Park usually help and the parents of the children join in the activities.”
You can also see 2012 news from the Region here.