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Cornwall youngsters inspired into sport as Olympic excitement takes hold

Windsurf champion Izzy Hamilton helps instruct Sportivate participants

Almost a thousand young people in Cornwall have been inspired to get involved in sport thanks to Sport England's Sportivate Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative.

Rhys Bonney, 22 from Falmouth, has taken part in an eight week 'Sportivate Kickivate' football programme at The Dracaena Centre in Falmouth. Rhys has never been overly keen on competitive sport but the idea of taking part in a more informal setting really appealed to him. From the positive experience he had with Sportivate, he is now a regular participant in the Dracaena 'Just Play' indoor football sessions and is now even contemplating joining one of the clubs based at the centre next season!

Rhys comments: "I hadn't really played any sport since school but when I saw the Sportivate football sessions advertised at Dracaena, I got a few mates together who were in the same boat and we haven't looked back! It has been a great laugh and my fitness has improved so much that I may even look at playing more competitively when the football season comes around again!!"

Sportivate is aimed at 14- to 25-year-olds who currently aren't playing sport in their own time, giving them the chance to find a sport they enjoy. The young people are then helped to find a club or venue where they can keep taking part.

Cornwall Sports Partnership is running Sportivate in Cornwall and has on offer a range of different sports from Archery to American Football to Cheerleading.

Tim Marrion from Cornwall Sports Partnership said: "This investment into local community sport is very much needed to inspire young people to take up sport and physical activity. Sportivate in Cornwall has been really successful with almost a thousand young people being retained into various activities delivered locally, when they want in an informal environment."

He continued: "If any local providers need small amounts of cash to kick start activity then please get in touch."

Sport England's Executive Director for Community Sport Mike Diaper said: "It's fantastic that so many teenagers and young adults are getting into sport through Sportivate.

"Whether it's BMX biking, canoeing or netball, I've been really struck by the enthusiasm of the young people on Sportivate sessions and impressed that so many of them are continuing to play once the course is over."

As part of the Places People Play official Olympic legacy programme, Sportivate will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people over four years.

To help inspire and motivate the participants, our Sporting Champions - a team of current and retired elite athletes - are visiting Sportivate sessions to share their experiences and enthusiasm for sport.