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New programme inspires Cornish people to make More sport happen

Sport Makers launches in Cornwall

An exciting new programme has been launched in Cornwall that will see over 420 people volunteer to help increase participation in grassroots sport

International athlete Mark Lewarne last week unveiled Sport Makers, a new programme being led the Cornwall Sports Partnership and Sport England, which will see more than 400 Cornish people make sport happen in their local community - and to be rewarded for their efforts.

To mark the launch of the Sport Makers programme in Cornwall there was an official launch event at Truro College on Thursday 13 October. Mark Lewarne, Cornwall's very own high performance swimmer and surf lifesaver, joined forces with the Cornwall Sports Partnership and Sport England to open the inspirational new programme for everyone who'd like to make sport happen for their friends, neighbours or colleagues.

Appreciating the unquestionable value of volunteers in sport, Mark enthused: "As a Team GB athlete and having experienced competition at local, national and international events, I am very aware of all the hard work that is put in by volunteers to ensure each event runs as smoothly as possible. Volunteers play a crucial role in encouraging and supporting participants from grassroots and club level right through to performance sport. I therefore wholeheartedly support volunteer development and help new sports volunteers to start in sport, current volunteers to continue in sport and all volunteers an opportunity to develop through sport."

Also attending the event to support the initiative was Chris Goninan, of St Just Cricket Club, winner of the 2008 BBC Southwest Unsung Hero award for volunteering and the 2007 Cornwall Sports Award for Community Volunteer of the Year.

Sport Makers aims to inspire 420 people in Cornwall to get involved in volunteering, with each of them spending at least 10 hours organising or leading sporting activities; it is open to anyone aged 16 and over. It is part of the Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities across the country.

Jackie Lawrence, at the Cornwall Sports Partnership, explains: "Every Cornish Sport Maker will be invited to an informal and interactive workshop where they'll gain the skills and opportunities to get involved in sport across the county. They will then be introduced to organisations that need their help, and join forces with others who want to make sport happen locally. There'll also be opportunities to meet top athletes and plenty of incentives to stay involved.

"If anyone is interested in becoming a Sport Maker or in putting forward their organisation to receive the help of a Sport Maker, I would love to hear from them.  I can be contacted on 01872 323336 or jlawrence@cornwall.gov.uk".

The programme was launched nationally by Sir Steve Redgrave earlier in the week, he commented: "You don't need medals to become a sporting hero. By helping people you know to get involved in sport you'll be doing something amazing for your friends and local community as well as having fun yourself.

"The thing I want to see more than anything is more people out enjoying what sport has to offer, but we need your help to make it happen".

The launch of Sport Makers was welcomed by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP. He said: "The volunteers that help out at local sports clubs up and down the country are the foundations of community sport. The new Sport Makers initiative is a key part of the London 2012 sports legacy and will help community sports clubs across the country get more people playing sport."

Click here to find out more about Sport Makers in Cornwall or contact Jackie Lawrence on 01872 323336 / jlawrence@cornwall.gov.uk