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April 17, 2012

In the run up to the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games there has been a number of initiatives launched to help increase participation in sport as part of Sport England's Places People Play strategy and here is an outline of activities taking place within Cumbria delivered or facilitated by Active Cumbria, the Sport and Physical Activity Partnership; one of 49 County Sports Partnerships across England:

Sportivate provides 6 weekly coached sessions and encourages teenagers and young adults (14-25) to continue in sport. In Cumbria more than 1,250 people have been engaged in this programme so far and this is expected to more than double by the end of 2012. For more information visit Sport England's website

Sport Makers launched in Autumn 2011 to encourage people aged 16 and over to devote 10 hours or more to making sport happen. Instead of traditional sports volunteering roles this programme looks to attract people to inspire their friends, family and colleagues to take part in sport. It can be anything from booking a court for No Strings Badminton to arranging football in a local park, committing a work team to a cycling challenge or volunteering to promote a local race. In Cumbria: 384 people are registered as Sport Makers 200 people have been to a Sport Makers workshop 51 people have delivered 10 or more hours as a Sport Maker. We have held 12  workshops in Cumbria so far and will be holding some more in May. For more information visit the Sport Makers Website

Gold Challenge aims to help people raise money for a charity of their choice while discovering a wide range of sports available. 2012 Challenge is looking for Individuals or teams to achieve aggregate distance of 2012km or just do 2012 minutes of one or more of the following sports:Running - Swimming - Cycling - Walking - Rowing - Canoeing - Sailing - Windsurfing - Horse-riding. The challenge is fully inclusive with every (team) members' efforts counting towards the total. If you want to set a Gold challenge target this summer fins out more at

Iconic Facilities Sport England's Iconic Facilities fund draws on the inspirational pull of London 2012 to create local beacons for grassroots sport. They are investing £30m over the next three years in innovative, large-scale, multi-sport facilities' projects that are regionally significant for at least two sports and can demonstrate long-term financial viability. For more information visit the Sport England Website

Inspired Facilities launched by Sport England last year. Inspired Facilities funding programme will invest in up to 1,000 local community sports clubs across the country. The aim of the funding is to make it easier for local community and volunteer groups to improve and refurbish sports clubs or transform non-sporting venues into modern grassroots sport facilities. Sport England is keen to invest in more projects in Cumbria. They have organised two free and informal workshops in May to help explain the programme and how you could apply to upgrade or improve your community sports club or local facilities. Workshops will take place at Penrith RUFC at Winters Park on Wednesday 23rd May. . The first workshop session 'A' will run from 2.00pm and finish at approximately 4.00pm. The evening workshop session 'B', will start at 7pm and finish at approximately 9pm. Each workshop is open to representatives from sports clubs and all community and voluntary sector groups and organisations. Find out more here

Protecting Playing Fields is investing £10 million of National Lottery funding in community sports projects over three years from 2011-2014. Through this programme, Sport England intends to fund up to 300 projects for playing field improvements that will contribute to both retaining and increasing participants in sport across England at the local level. The programme will fund capital projects that create, develop and improve playing fields for sporting and community use and offer long term protection of the site for sport. Projects are likely to involve the construction of new natural turf pitches or improvement of existing ones that need leveling or drainage works. For more information please visit the Sport England Website

Run Leaders are wanted across Cumbria. Active Cumbria, the Sport and Physical Activity Partnership are working with Run England looking for running enthusiasts to establish a network of new beginner running groups across Cumbria. Run England is England Athletics official recreational running programme which aims to get the nation running. The programme offers a safe, fun and supportive way to take those first steps to becoming more active more often. There are over 750 Run England registered groups nationally, all delivered by qualified and insured leaders who are passionate about helping people new to running achieve their goals. Active Cumbria are offering free places on two Leadership In Running Fitness courses; Saturday 28th April at Workington Leisure Centre; Sunday 29th April at Frenchfields Leisure Centre, Penrith. Find out more about Run Leaders opportunities and workshops at our Run Leaders page

Community Games programme in Cumbria will be coordinated by Active Cumbria, The Sport and Physical Activity Partnership who will provide support, resources and funding opportunities for communities to organise their own local sporting and cultural events in celebration of London 2012 Games. The events can be anything from a triathlon or a sponsored walk to a live concert, and will reflect the interests and needs of the local community. To find out more about Community Games, how you can get involved, and the support on offer, please go to

Cumbria School Games will give hundreds of young athletes the chance to come together and take part in three events as part of the Cumbria School Games. The three Cumbria School Games County Festivals will involve children from all six districts in Cumbria. Approximately 1,500 young people from primary, secondary and special schools will competed in 12 different sports, including 5 inclusive sports at the three events in 2012. The largest of the three events will take place on the 27th June in Carlisle with a Multisports Festival and a smaller event on the 4th July will see the County Year 7 Athletics finals take place in Copeland. The events will also be supported by more than 150 student volunteers, who will form 'The School Games Crew' helping run and promote the event. Find out more at:

Cumbria Talented Athlete Fund is supporting another round of local athletes on the run up to the games. Cumbria Talented Athlete Fund was created as part of the sporting legacy of London 2012 to support Cumbria's talented athletes. The fund is supported by Cumbria County Council, South Lakeland District Council, Allerdale Borough Council and Active Cumbria, The Sport and Physical Activity Partnership. The fund was launched in 2009 and has supported 84 talented athletes in Cumbria giving out nearly £25,000 in award grants. This year the fund will support:
• Natasha Wilson of Wigton is a talented Javelin thrower
• Kathryn Routledge of Carlisle a talented athlete in the sport of Waterpolo
• Jeannie Darroch of Little Salkeld a talented athlete in the sport of Swimming
• Sarah Jones of Barrow-In-Furness is a talented athlete in Orienteering
• Simon Lawson of Maryport is a talented athlete in Wheelchair Racing

Cumbria Sports Awards annually recognises the talents and dedication of athletes, sports teams, coaches and sport volunteers. Organised by Active Cumbria, the awards recognise the outstanding talents, commitment and successes of teams and individuals throughout Cumbria who are involved in sport. The 'Be Inspired' award launched in running up to the games was introduced to recognise the achievements of one of our category winners, and how they are contributing to the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games in Cumbria. The 2011 Be Inspired Award went to Kathryn Routledge representing team GB in the Junior Waterpolo squad.

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