Lord Coe’s thanks to volunteers bringing Olympic legacy to the hearts of communities

Volunteers championed for bringing Olympic and Paralympic legacy to life across the country will be given a special ‘thank you’ by Lord Coe, on the one-year anniversary of London 2012 at a special event on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  

On the anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games a special event will be held to celebrate the contribution 70 volunteers have made to the sporting legacy in their local communities. 

The group have been honoured for the roles they have played in bringing their local communities together to run Community Games events. Community Games is an Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme delivered by the County Sports Partnership Network (CSPN) and the YMCA. 

Community Games, which was inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games, encourages communities to come together through thousands of sport and cultural events taking place across the country, which are supported by more than 36,000 volunteers.

The Community Games Relay which kicked off on May 19 mirrors the original 70-day Olympic Torch Relay, in England, shining a spotlight on each area highlighting the Olympic and Paralympic legacy left behind through Community Games.

Each day of the Community Games Relay a volunteer is recognised for the role they have played in bringing legacy to life through the programme and are officially awarded as a ‘Shining Light’ in their community.

On day 70, the last day of the Community Games Relay, all 70 ‘Shining Lights’ will come together at the Copper Box Arena on the first day it opens to the public – 27 July 2013.

The opening is part of celebrations to mark the anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games and the start of the phased opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

On the day Lord Coe will pay homage to the shining lights and thank them for the role they have each played personally in helping others to get involved in sport and cultural activities through Community Games.

Lee Mason, Chief Executive, from the County Sports Partnership Network, said 

“The Community Games programme brought thousands of communities together during the Olympic year, supported by a dedicated group of volunteers.

It is fantastic to see the work of these volunteers being celebrated and acknowledged.

It is only fitting that Lord Coe who himself helped to light up the nation, thank those who similarly light up their communities.

I am very encouraged that there has been an appetite across the country to come together to celebrate the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games again in 2013. We already have more than 1,000 Community Games registered to take place this summer in communities all over the country.

I hope these will continue in future years as a sustainable legacy from the Games.”

Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of the YMCA, said:

“I have been overwhelmed by the quality of Community Games events taking place throughout the country and the wonderful opportunities they are presenting to our young people, and old alike, to enjoy sport and cultural activities in their own community.

It will be an honour for our Shining Lights to meet Lord Coe and to receive a thank you for the tireless work they are doing to help improve the lives of others.”

At the event being held on the one-year-anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games, the Shining Lights will wear commemorative Community Games Relay jerseys – inspired by the original torchbearers’ jerseys.

For more information about the Community Games Relay or to follow its journey across England to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park log on towww.communitygames.org.uk.

Lord Coe’s thanks to volunteers bringing Olympic legacy to the hearts of communities