Staging a Games for everyone must involve bringing sport and its benefits to some of the world’s most vulnerable young people.
Our primary mission has been to use London 2012 to reach young people across the globe and connect them to sport, which we have already achieved through our International Inspiration programme. As the first-ever Host City international sports development programme, it has helped more than 12 million young people in 20 countries, from Azerbaijan to Zambia, experience sport.
Our primary mission has been to use London 2012 to reach young people all around the world and connect them to sport.Seb Coe, Chair, London 2012 Organising Committee
The wide range of benefits include better school attendance and educational performance, and the empowerment of girls and disabled young people to participate in sport, access education and develop confidence and leadership skills. International Inspiration is also saving lives in many ways, including teaching children and young people to swim in flood-prone areas of Bangladesh.
International Inspiration exemplifies what London 2012 stands for and the legacies it’s delivering. In the UK, these include more than 900 sport-specific projects in communities across every nation and region to develop sports participation and physical activity schemes for people of all ages.
The vision and preparations for the London 2012 Games have made sports participation a high priority. In early 2012, the UK Government announced a new £1 billion, five-year youth and community strategy to further broaden and develop the 2012 Games promise to inspire a generation to get involved in sport. Read more about efforts to improve sports participation.
This process of change and inspiration has in part been driven by the Olympic and Paralympic values of respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination, inspiration and equality. We have integrated these values into our Get Set education programme, which more than 24,000 schools have registered with, and into sport, culture and arts programmes across the UK and internationally to help young people address issues such as bullying, gangs, social isolation, illegal drug use, and community participation and involvement.
While nobody can expect the Games to solve all social ills or concerns of young people, London 2012 demonstrates that Games-related programmes and values have an important role to play – highlighted, for example, by the universal support generated within the United Nations for the London 2012 Olympic Truce Resolution. All 193 UN member states co-sponsored the resolution, making it the most sponsored resolution in UN history.
Meanwhile, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, were designed especially to connect young people with sport and tell the story of the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic history. Find out more about the mascots.
London 2012 has sought to involve young people in every aspect of the Games. In volunteering, for example, more than 2,000 young people from across the UK were selected to take up vital roles to ensure the successful delivery of the Games. Around 250 teams of young people will join adult Games Makers next summer to help stage the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In addition, London 2012 aims for 50% of Olympic Torchbearers to be aged between 12 and 24. This includes 212 young Torchbearers recruited through Get Set, all aged 12. And the four-year Cultural Olympiad, culminating in the London 2012 Festival this summer, has given young people of all abilities and from various backgrounds the opportunity to get involved in the arts.