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627 Cumbrian youngsters inspired into sport as legacy programme gathers momentum

February 14, 2012

More than 600 young people in Cumbria 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.

Activities delivered to young people in Cumbria have ranged from 'Can Dance' sessions for Young people with Disabilities in Barrow to Football coaching for young people in Eden. Adam Panter, Football Development Officer at Westmorland FA said:

"We delivered six weeks of football coaching to young people in Kirkby Stephen and group has gone onto form an U18 team and are now competing in a local league. Previously, players in this age group have dropped out of the game completely to pursue other interests - the Sportivate programme enabled us to work with some of the young people aged 15-18 in the area and provide a regular coaching opportunity that, with support, has led into the development of a new team so this has been a massive success. The target age range is so important in tackling the drop off in sport and there is no better time than the Olympic year to inspire young people into sport. "

Responding to the legacy pledge made by Seb Coe in Singapore in 2005, 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.

Active Cumbria is the delivery agency for running Sportivate in Cumbria. Deliverers were commissioned by Active Cumbria in year one to deliver Sportivate sessions across all six districts. Bruce Lawson Partnership Manager at Active Cumbria said:

 "Year one Sportivate delivery has gone really well. We are planning year two of Sportivate activities for young people in Cumbria and as we get closer to the Games in July we hope more teenagers and young adults will decide on a more physically active lifestyle."

All participants who complete their chosen Sportivate sessions, 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 Cumbria 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.