5,000 kids in Cornwall inspired to play sport by London 2012
Newly released figures have revealed that 48,000 young people in the South West, which includes 5,000 in Cornwall, who don’t normally play sport outside of school lessons, have made a change and completed 10-week sports courses in their own time.
Encouragingly, researchers found that nationally, and within Cornwall, two in five of those youngsters are continuing to play sport afterwards – in clubs and with their friends.
Over two years the courses, part of Sport England’s Sport Unlimited programme, have been completed by 48,112 young people in the South West region, of which 4,953 were in Cornwall. Across England, half a million youngsters have completed courses.
With London 2012 now just two years away, Sport England is urging more young people not to miss out and to sign up for the next round of courses starting in September. The Cornwall Sports Partnership are already facilitating these new sessions; details of which can be found at www.cornwallsportspartnership.co.uk/sportunlimited
The Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP, said: Sport Unlimited is going from strength to strength, encouraging hundreds of thousands of young people to try sport.
“One of my top priorities is to ensure that we deliver a sporting legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This scheme is part of that, inspiring a new generation of children to get out there and take part, no matter what their age or ability.”
Sport Unlimited is aimed at youngsters who are not yet playing regular sport in the community and is boosting participation by giving them the freedom to choose the sports on offer. The most popular sports in Cornwall include basketball, gymnastics, tennis, windsurfing, cycling and climbing.
Sport Unlimited is playing a key role in delivering a lasting participation legacy from the Games. To support this, the programme has recently been awarded the Inspire Mark by London 2012 – in recognition of the impact it is having on young people.
Tim Marrion, Cornwall Sports Partnership Services Manager, explains: “Sport Unlimited is a fantastic opportunity for Cornish kids to try out something new and have some fun! Specifically for those who may ordinarily shy away from a number of sports because of the level of competition; the clubs we’ve facilitated through Sport Unlimited offer a completely level playing ground and should hopefully see talents emerge as everyone learns and enjoys together. Who knows what future Olympians we may discover through the programme!”
Richard Lewis, Sport England’s Chair, said: “Finding your sport and developing a love for it at a young age is an important step towards continuing participation when you’re older. Through Sport Unlimited, Sport England is making sport appeal to more youngsters in the South West by giving them the freedom to choose the sports they play. London 2012 is just around the corner so there has never been a better time to get out and get active.”