Community Games Relay launched
People across the country are coming together in celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relay’s one-year anniversary with a unique programme of events virtually re-living the journey of the torch.
In just four weeks from now, Community Games - a programme designed to stimulate community-based sporting and cultural activities - is mirroring the torch relay route, through the Community Games Relay, to showcase some of the thousands of its activities taking place throughout the year.
Kick-starting on May 19 in Land’s End, Community Games will place a spotlight on each area of the Olympic and Paralympic torch relay route as it virtually passes through England during its 70-day long journey.
Believed to be the only organisation mirroring the Olympic torch route, Community Games will celebrate the one-year-anniversary of the torch arriving in areas across England as well as paying homage to representatives of the 36,000 volunteers who have helped to bring Community Games to life in the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Delivered by the County Sports Partnership Network (CSPN) and the YMCA the Community Games Relay will be showcasing the work of Community Games up and down the country in a bid to encourage more people to take part in the free events.
Community Games is funded by the Social Action Fund, which is administered by the Cabinet Office.
Lee Mason, Chief Executive of the County Sports Partnership Network, said: “The County Sports Partnership Network is really looking forward to the Community Games Relay. It is a great opportunity for people inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games to come together to enjoy sport and cultural activities on the day the Community Games Relay passes through their area or at any of the thousands of Community Games events taking place this year. People involved in Community Games work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure others enjoy sporting and cultural activities in the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, through the programme.”
Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England, said: “We are proud of the YMCA’s association with Community Games. A significant part of our day-to-day work is dedicated to getting people active and in turn, creating healthy communities. Through Community Games we have already seen thousands of people – from young children to adults - coming together across the country to engage in these events, including many who perhaps wouldn’t have done something like this without the inspiration of the Olympics and Paralympics. Last year there were more than 1,600 Community Games taking place across England – we hope this year there will be even more."
If you would like to organise a Community Games, or to find out when your next event is taking place, log on to www.communitygames.org.uk.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
• The Community Games programme was launched in the West Midlands in 2009 and was originally funded for three years by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
• Last year 1,648 Community Games took place involving more than one million participants and 36,847 volunteers.
• Community Games is inspired by the Wenlock Olympian Games founded by Dr William Penny Brookes in 1850 and still held annually in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. The Wenlock Olympian Games were the inspiration behind the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games when Baron Pierre du Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic movement, visited the games in 1890. The Community Games programme pays homage to a community event that inspired a global event, and now uses that global event to inspire a new raft of community events.
• Founded 168 years ago, the YMCA in England is made up of 121 member YMCAs working to ensure that young people have opportunities to thrive and contribute positively to their communities.
• YMCA operates in over 530 different communities in England impacting upon the lives of over 500,000 people every year.
• Every night YMCAs provide over 9,000 beds for young people. The YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of safe, supported accommodation for single men and women aged between 16-30 years old.
• The YMCA enables nearly 24,000 people every year to engage in education, skills and training to enable them to improve their opportunities in the job market.
• The YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of health and wellbeing services promoting physical activity.
• For further information please visit http://www.ymca.org.uk
The County Sports Partnership Network (CSPN):
• The County Sports Partnership Network brings together 49 County Sports Partnerships from across England, and is responsible for supporting the delivery of national sports policy at a local level by shaping it to the needs of local communities.
• The CSPN contributes to the health of the nation by helping local people lead healthier, active lives. The CSPN brings together the knowledge and expertise of a range of local delivery partners – including local authorities, clubs and schools – which enables it to use resources in the most efficient way possible to deliver sport in local communities.
• The CSPN brings together the knowledge and expertise of a range of local delivery partners – including local authorities, clubs and schools – which enables it to use resources in the most efficient way possible to deliver sport in local communities.
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