MORE than 590 young people in Lincolnshire have been inspired to do sport in their own time in the first six months of Sport England’s Sportivate Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative.
Jacob Mellaney, 18, originally from Billericay studying at University of Lincoln is one of the teenagers and young adults who has received six to eight weeks of coaching in a sport of their choice.
He said: “The Learn to Row course has been something I have enjoyed greatly. I have continued with the sport and have raced competitively and won already.”
Responding to the legacy pledge made by Seb Coe in Singapore in 2005, Sportivate is aimed at 14 to 25-year-olds who currently are not playing sport in their own time, giving them the chance to find a sport they enjoy.
They are then helped to find a club or venue where they can keep taking part.
Lincolnshire Sports Partnership is running Sportivate in all seven districts of the county, including Rugby in Boston, dance in Lincoln, climbing in North Kesteven, badminton in East Lindsey, swimming in South Holland, cricket in West Lindsey and squash in South Kesteven.
Lucy Blakey, children and young people’s officer at Lincolnshire Sports Partnership, said: “Sportivate not only provides a great opportunity to encourage young people to get involved in sport; it provides a huge financial incentive for sports clubs, schools, leisure facilities and others, to deliver more sport across Lincolnshire.
“We have had a great first year of the programme and look to do even better for the second year to continue to see an increase in sports opportunities in young people in Lincolnshire as a result.”
All those who complete a sports course, missing no more than one session, and then continue to play sport for at least three months will have the chance to enter a ballot for free London 2012 tickets.
Sport England has hundreds of Olympic and Paralympic tickets available for Sportivate participants via the London 2012 Ticketshare initiative.
Sport England’s chair, Richard Lewis, said: “We’re delighted that so many young people in Lincolnshire have been inspired to get involved in sport through Sportivate.
“This is what the Olympic and Paralympic legacy is all about and it’s fantastic to hear about all those finding a new passion for sport.”
As part of the Places People Play official Olympic legacy programme, the National Lottery-funded 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.