Monday, 27 April 2009

My colleague Chris Walsh, headteacher at Boston Spa School sent me this piece of brilliant news...

"Dear Chris, As a successful Sports College we have been invited to take a lead in a £9 million investment program that is designed to support sporting projects initially in five developing countries around the world. This is the 'International Inspiration' programme which will deliver on the LOCOG promise made to the IOC in Singapore that they would engage and inspire the youth of the world through sport. We have been asked to lead 'International Inspiration' for Bangladesh. The other pilot programmes are taking place in Azerbaijan, Brazil, Palau and Zambia and project work has already started in each of these countries, and we are beginning the work in Asia, with each project representing one of the Olympic rings. The programme is being led by UK Sport, UNICEF, the British Council, the FA Premier League and the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

'International Inspiration' intends to use what we have learnt, as a Sports College, about sports development to transform the lives of millions of children and young people in schools and communities in countries across the world. It will seek not only to help deliver the ambitions on a world wide Olympic legacy but also to lay the foundations for a long term international legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Para Olympic Games. The programme will look to create opportunities for children and young people of all abilities from the most disadvantaged communities in the world to enrich their lives by playing and excelling in sport.

The programme aims include ensuring that any work done is sustainable and will have a lasting benefit across the communities it embraces. Each pilot country will benefit from a number of mutually agreed programmes across the following three strands:
• physical education in schools and school links
• sport development and sporting excellence,
• human and social development through sport
'International Inspiration' will also have a strong link back into the UK through our school links, providing opportunities for us to raise awareness of the issues faced in the developing world.

We consider it a privilege to be asked to undertake this work, not only does it represents the cornerstone of the Olympic legacy, but it will create such brilliant opportunities for young people in both countries. Part of the success of the 2012 bid was the promise that London would inspire children across the world and 'international Inspirations' is LOCOG's key strategy towards fulfilling that ambition. Lord Coe, Chairman of LOCOG, said of 'international Inspiration',

"Our vision is to use the power of the games to inspire change - and changing the lives of young people in particular is the driving force behind our plans. As part of our pledge to the IOC in Singapore, we committed to inspire young people around the world to choose sport. This is a tangible example of how we are delivering on this promise and using the power and magic of sport to change the lives of young people around the world - and leave a lasting international legacy."


It is wonderful that Boston Spa has been selected to lead on 'International Inspiration' for Bangladesh and a real compliment to Chris and his talented team.

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