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Thursday 3 June 2010

Olympics Honour for Cheshire East Council

A drive to encourage young people in Cheshire East to take sporting inspiration from the 2012 Games has won national recognition.

Four Council-run programmes have been awarded Inspire Mark status by the 2012 Organising Committee, which honours innovative projects that are directly inspired by the Games.

It brings Cheshire East’s clutch of Inspire Marks to five after the authority’s free swimming scheme won the accreditation in December.

This success brought special recognition from the Chief Executive of London 2012, Paul Deighton, who visited Cheshire East to personally congratulate the leisure and play development team.

The successful schemes are Go4It, Street Sports, Cheshire East Basketball League and Volunteering in Sport and Play Activities (VISPA).

Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “We are very proud that Cheshire East can now boast five Inspire Marks, making us one of the most successful local authorities in the North West.

“We are committed to supporting people to make positive life changes and the upcoming Games is a marvellous inspiration.

“These four schemes are all about encouraging young people to enjoy sporting activity and they are having marvellous results.

“My congratulations go to the leisure and play development team for their success.”

Go4It provides young people who meet the eligibility criteria with free membership to a host of Olympic-related sporting and recreational activities.

The programme targets groups of young people who currently do not take part in structured sports and teams them up with older teenagers to act as ‘buddies’ to provide encouragement and support.

Street Sports offers young people the opportunity to be trained by qualified coaches while volunteer coaches can gain valuable experience which can count towards a sports qualification.

The Cheshire East Basketball League, which comprises 14 teams from clubs across the area, is the first of its kind and offers young people the opportunity to compete at a local level.

The VISPA programme offers people the opportunity to volunteer within sport and play programmes, events and clubs.

With a current base of 70 volunteers, the programme aims to utilise their talents while enabling them to gain knowledge, experience and recognition for future employment.

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