The growing impact of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on local business and communities has been celebrated at a series of events across Cheshire and Warrington.
The head of the organisation responsible for staging the 2012 Games took part in a major conference in Chester this week and visited Games-linked projects in Warrington and Nantwich.
Paul Deighton, Chief Executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) - www.london2012.com
- applauded the way in which the sub region is engaging with and benefiting from the 2012 Games, and encouraged more individuals and organisations to get involved.
He was speaking at a Legacy Conference organised by the Cheshire and Warrington 2012 Steering Group to showcase the opportunities that exist for the sub region to benefit from the Games in a range of areas including sport, culture, tourism and business.
The event was staged at Chester Racecourse, which is being considered as an official base for the British showjumpers ahead of the Games.
It was attended by local authority and university representatives, and delegates from National Governing Bodies of Sport, the education, cultural and voluntary sectors, Sport England, health and visitor economy organisations. It is hoped the conference will become an annual event.
Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington 2012 Steering Group, Chris Brown, welcomed Paul Deighton to the conference and commented: “As today’s showcase proves, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are more than a summer of sporting endeavour.”
He added: “The 2012 Games are already delivering real and sustainable benefits for business, culture and education across local communities and will continue to do so for years to come.
Paul Deighton commented: “It’s impressive to see that the 2012 Games have already inspired so many local groups and businesses to get involved and achieve their personal best.
“I hope by turning the spotlight to Chester and Warrington today, we encourage others to find a way to make part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity their own.”
Mr Deighton’s visit to the sub-region began at Warrington Wolves’ Halliwell Jones Stadium where he met Jan Souness, Warrington Borough Council’s Assistant Director Neighbourhood & Cultural Services, and Neil Kelly, Director at Warrington Wolves Foundation, and viewed a number of local ‘Inspire Mark’ projects inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic values.
These included the Warrington Wolves Handball Leadership Programme, Active Arcade, and the Cheshire East Inspire Basketball League.
He commented: “As part of the 2012 legacy work within Cheshire & Warrington, School Sport Partnerships and the local authorities have been tremendously proactive in developing new projects inspired by the London 2012 Games, which have been recognised through the Inspire Mark programme.
“They are a perfect illustration of the impact the Games coming to London are having on young people across the sub-region.”
Warrington School Sport Partnership (www.wassp.org.uk) and Warrington Wolves Foundation are using the 2012 Games to inspire new leaders, coaches and volunteers, and to increase participation in sport.
The Partnership Development Manager based at Lymm High school, Louaz Hofton, added: “The Games have clearly captured the imagination of many of our young people and I’m particularly proud of how they have grasped the opportunity to learn new skills, exploit their own potential and inspire others to benefit from participation in sport.”
Following the conference, Mr Deighton called in to Malbank School in Nantwich, one of the first in the UK to be accepted on the Get Set network for its commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Values.
He talked with headteacher Jeannette Walker, staff and pupils and presented the school with a Youth Charter scroll in recognition of the school’s work with young people.
The Youth Charter is a UK registered charity and UN accredited non-governmental organisation with the overall mission of providing young people with an opportunity through sport, arts and cultural activity to develop their potential.
Malbank School headteacher Jeannette Walker said: “We didn’t hesitate in engaging whole heartedly with Olympic and Paralympic values because they sit at the heart of our school culture.
“Our students have led on a broad range of exciting learning initiatives and had lots of new opportunities to make a difference in our school as well as inspiring projects in other schools they have worked with.”
She added: “The whole experience has been inspirational; we are keen to ensure that students here and across our region have a lasting legacy from 2012.”
Below: Paul Deighton
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