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May 21, 2012
The Olympic Mascot will today and tomorrow, as part of a Flag Relay, visit a school every district in Cumbria. A large number of school classes across the county entered the Cumbria School Games 'Design Your Flag' competition with a whole range of creative designs inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Values.
Out of 327 entries a design for each district was chosen to be produced into the district flag and will be used to lead the district team onto the track as part of the Cumbria School Games Opening Ceremony on the June 27th at Carlisle's Sheepmount Stadium.
The Cumbria School Games Local Organising Committee were very keen to involve young people involved in the event in June and give opportunities to young people beyond those competing on the day.
David Keetley Chair of the Local Organising Committee said:
"We were overwhelmed by the entries that came in with great designs from young people as young as 7. We had a really tough job on our hands to pick only six winners so we also agree to choose seven close runners up.
Although we want the Cumbria School Games to be a great sporting event we also want to make it about such more than just sport. Young people have many talents in various disciplines and we want use the school games to give them their moment to shine"
The flags had to embrace the Olympic and Paralympic Values which are:
Members from the Cumbria School Games team will go round each school to meet the children and tell them more about the creation of the Olympic Mascots. The creator of each winning flag design will be presented with a certificate and a Mascot of their very own to keep. A copy of the winning flag design will also be presented to the Head teacher of each winning school followed by a special visit from the Olympic Mascot Wenlock. Alice Bateman, design winner for South Lakeland said:
"It's amazing for Crosscrake School that Wenlock is coming to visit. Everyone is looking forward to the visit. It is making the build up to the start of the London 2012 Olympics even more exciting for us. I never thought my design would win, but I am very proud it did. I can't wait!"
The flags have been produced by the Amazing Arts Group, a group of young people aged 18-25 year olds who are supported by community arts company New Arts North. Celia Burbush of New Arts North said:
"It was great to work on the Cumbria School Games flags and our Amazing Arts group thought the designs that came through were exquisite. Some of the illustrations were fantastic and you could really tell a lot of thought had gone into them. "
The winning flags will also travel to other venues as part of the relay.
The Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund supported the mascot visit and by special request the mascot will also make a special stop off at Workington Cricket Club during its time in Cumbria. Workington Cricket Club has been flooded at least twice in the last 10 years with the 2009 flood being far and away the worst - walls were washed away and a big hole appeared on the pitch. Becky Underwood from Active Cumbria said:
"The cricket club has come back stronger than ever following the devastation caused by the Cumbria floods, the club house is much bigger than it was with greatly improved facilities and it is down to a dedicated team of passionate volunteers led by Mally Wood. It was great to see so many young people filling the place out with huge smiles on their faces. It's important to recognise the efforts of a few that affect so many. To give young people in Cumbria special opportunities in a special year for sport is what the School Games is all about."
The Flood Recovery and Resilience programme is a Big Lottery Funded project created in the County after the 2009 floods. Cumbria CVS manages the programme, Active Cumbria was invited to support affected Sports Clubs, other partners involved included the Cumbria Community Foundation, Action For Communities in Cumbria and Young Cumbria. The project comes to an end in September and has reached the community re-engagement stage, hence the Mascot visit to Workington Cricket Club tomorrow.