Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By: Tom Degun

July 25 - London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe claimed today the success of the overseas legacy programme - International Inspiration, which has involved top athletes like Denise Lewis - has shown that they have kept the promise it made to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when it was awarded the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Singapore more than six years ago.

With just over a year to go until the start of the Games, it was announced that the programme has delivered on its promise a year earlier than planned as International Inspiration has already achieved its vision of reaching 12 million children in 20 countries.

Coe made the promise to the IOC that if the city was awarded the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Organising Committee would reach out to young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport.

"I think it is really important that when you make commitments to the international leadership of sport that throughout the delivery of the project that you are seen to be meeting those commitments and fulfilling that vision," Coe told insidethegames.

"I think International Inspiration illustrates that we have delivered on what we promised to the IOC in Singapore six years and 19 days ago as we won the Games on the back of a series of commitments.

"I would like to thank the delivery partners of International Inspiration who have helped us achieve our vision, particularly the IOC, and I am confident this programme will be adopted future Olympic and Paralympic host cities."

International Inspiration is delivered as a partnership between UK Sport, UNICEF and the British Council while the programme works with local communities, teachers, coaches and governments to improve children's lives and give them the chance to take part in sport and play.

It is helping change children and young people's lives in many different ways, Coe claimed.

In Bangladesh, where thousands of children drown each year, International Inspiration is working with the Bangladesh Swimming Federation to teach swimming survival techniques to over 80,000 non-swimmers.

Working in seven flood-prone priority districts, International Inspiration has so far trained 784 teenage swimming instructors to teach children how to swim and to raise awareness about the importance of survival swimming.

Noor, an 18-year-old involved with the International Inspiration programme in Bangladesh and who saved a child from drowning by performing CPR which she learnt during her training, joined Coe for the announcement.

"Before being involved with International Inspiration, I wasn't very confident and I didn't feel like I would have any opportunities in life," she said.

"Now, thanks to International Inspiration, I am using the skills and experience I have learnt to further my education and I am much more respected in my community, which is something very important for women in Bangladesh."

School partnerships are also an integral part of International Inspiration, providing an opportunity for teachers, children and young people to develop and share innovative approaches to PE, sport and play in the classroom and their local community - as well as learning about and understanding each other's cultures, experiences and international development issues.

More than 200 schools in the UK currently linked to a school overseas through International Inspiration.

"International Inspiration has used the power of sport to change the lives and futures of 12 million children worldwide," said Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport and the Olympics

"It is a fantastic achievement and one of the greatest, and most long-term, legacies of London 2012."

The London 2012 programme will continue in some countries until 2014.


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