The programme, which is delivered as a partnership between UK Sport, UNICEF and the British Council, is now reaching 12 million children and young people in 17 countries across the globe, particularly in developing countries.
International Inspiration is helping change children and young people’s lives in many different ways.
- In Bangladesh, where thousands of children drown each year, International Inspiration is working with the Bangladesh Swimming Federation to teach swimming survival techniques to over 80,000 non-swimmers.
- In Trinidad and Tobago, International Inspiration aims to use sport to tackle the issue of violence and anti-social behaviour, addressing both the victims and the perpetrators.
- In Zambia, International Inspiration is helping educate young people about the issue of HIV and AIDS. Since the programme started in Zambia, three million young people have been reached through radio programmes promoting the importance of sport and play for healthy lifestyles.
Noor, an 18-year-old involved with the International Inspiration programme in Bangladesh, saved a child from drowning by performing CPR that she learnt during her training. Noor said: 'Before being involved with International Inspiration, I wasn’t very confident and I didn’t feel like I would have any opportunities in life. Now, thanks to International Inspiration, I am using the skills and experience I have learnt to further my education and I am much more respected in my community, which is something very important for women in Bangladesh.'
School partnerships are also an integral part of International Inspiration, providing an opportunity for teachers, children and young people at home in the UK and abroad to develop and share innovative approaches to PE, sport and play in the classroom and their local community. Over 200 schools in the UK currently linked to a school overseas through International Inspiration.
LOCOG Chair Seb Coe said: 'When London won the right to stage the 2012 Games, we did it on the back of several serious commitments. One of them was to use the power of the Games to inspire change – we promised to engage and inspire the youth of the world through sport and to integrate long-term sustainable legacy from the outset. International Inspiration is that vision.
'We promised that the lives of 12 million young people would change through the power of sport, so a year out from the Games I am delighted to announce that we have fulfilled that pledge. I would like to thank the delivery partners of International Inspiration who have helped us achieve our vision.'
The London 2012 programme will continue in some countries until 2014. In each country the focus is on activities which will deliver long-term, systematic change, rather than one-off, short-term benefits.