The Young Ambassador programme is a very influential programme for young leaders to try and get thousands of more children active. It gained the first ‘Inspire mark’ from the London 2012 Inspire programme and really supports the London 2012 promise from the bid to get more young people to choose sport.
The conference was a chance for all the Young Ambassadors to meet each other and share. It was an opportunity for them to feel special about the work they’ve done - and to pinch ideas from each other! It was like a day of celebration really, talking about what they’ve been doing and what they will do in the future.
A lot of people have been creating ‘mini-Olympics’. They’ve set up after-school clubs for underachieving children who come along a way of reward for going to school and not being naughty! They’ve set up clubs for disabled children and run assemblies. Some are helping young people who’re talented sport-wise, helping them get in touch with sports facilities or coaches, telling them where to go, how to participate in their sports. All sorts of things.
Yesterday there were Olympic athletes on hand to guide groups through what they could do over the coming years. Being with the Olympians was like the icing on the cake for the ambassadors – they got to meet their heroes and see there are people out there to support the work they’re doing in their schools. It was really a reward for the work they’re doing.
A competition to come up with new projects created loads of brilliant ideas. The level of enthusiasm and team spirit was incredible. The amount of energy in the room and the passion for their ideas were great. I think that the ideas were so moving because they came from young people - so they knew first hand what they want to get out of the Olympics and Paralympics and how they could do it.
I sat in the teachers group and there were some great discussions about how these young people can be supported. We also talked about debates surrounding the Olympics such as using them for politic movements and human right issues.
At the end of the day there was a closing ceremony and the Young Ambassadors were sent away to begin their fantastic London 2012 journey.
As a previous Young Ambassador I found the day really useful because I learnt how I could still get involved in the programme and voluntary work even after leaving school.
I truly believe that these young people are going to shine throughout the UK, particularly highlighting the Olympic and Paralympic values. Their ideas, along with school support, can make every young person’s sporting experience memorable.
It allows everyone opportunities all over the UK and gives them the pride and motivation to succeed; this again shows how the Games are going to leave such an amazing legacy.