20,000 celebrate Gold Challenge in the Olympic Stadium
20,000 members of the public joined elite athletes and celebrities in the Olympic Stadium on Sunday 1 April to support Gold Challenge – an independent initiative which is giving everyone a chance to be part of London 2012’s sporting legacy.
A unique call to action, Gold Challenge is for anyone looking to challenge themselves in multiple Olympic and Paralympic sports, whilst raising money for one of over 150 registered charities.
The independent enterprise is supported by Sport England, the British Olympic Association and ParalympicsGB, and is part of Sport England’s £135 million Places People Play legacy programme, which is bringing the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities all over the country.
“We want to ensure that people have as much opportunity as possible to get involved in sport, and Gold Challenge will help do exactly that,” said the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP. “This is an important part of our `Places People Play’ legacy plan, which will deliver on the bid pledge to use London 2012 to get more people playing sport.”
Team GB Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls joined Olympic gold medallist, Mary Peters, and former English rugby union players Austin Healey and Mike Catt at the celebratory event, which gave school children and members of the public - as well as representatives from various sports bodies, corporates and charities – the unique opportunity to race on the Stadium’s track.
Highlights included a series of 100m sprints and 4x100m relay races, and a 4,000-person parade. Onlookers were given their first glimpse of the Stadium where, in less than four months, the world’s best athletes will compete for Olympic or Paralympic gold. They were also treated to performances by Brit award winners BLAKE and soul singer Dionne Bromfield.
“I am really excited to be one of the first to perform in the Stadium,” said East Londoner Bromfield, who last year recorded the official Olympic Torch relay song. “For me it is a real honour as I grew up very close to the Olympic Park and am really looking forward to the Games coming to my hometown.”
With 85,000 people having already been motivated to take on an Olympic or Paralympic sport through the challenge, you can sign up at www.goldchallenge.org, where you’re able to personalise your activities – as an individual or part of a team - and choose which charity you want to support. You will also find key information guides on the sports available and an interactive ‘tracker’, where you can monitor progress and benchmark performance.
It is hoped that 100,000 people will take part in Gold Challenge by the end of 2012, taking their chance to become part of the sporting legacy.
Part of the ‘London Prepares’ series, Sunday was one of three test events in the Olympic Stadium.
For more information about whats happening for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the West of England please visit www.wesport.org.uk/twe.