Olympic and Paralympic legacy projects honoured at House of Commons reception
A busy working mother who is getting women in her neighbourhood into running and a project that gave more than 100 young people in Buckinghamshire the opportunity to getting involved in the iconic Olympic sport of rowing, have been honoured at an awards ceremony at the House of Commons.
Carolyn Ditton, a special needs teacher from Woking and mum of four, was named Sport Maker of year after helping more women to get into running. Inspired by this year’s Games, Carolyn wanted to introduce sport into the lives of people who don’t normally do exercise.
After attending a Sport Maker workshop to learn the skills and opportunities to make sport happen in her area, she also completed a leadership training course in running fitness to help her develop her coaching skills, ready to lead her running group, the Ladies Olympic Legacy Group.
Second place in the Sports Maker awards was 18-year-old Sarah Devon who has been helping non-disabled and disabled people to take part in a variety of sports, including volleyball, boccia and indoor athletics, as well as setting up a girls football team for her college friends.
Third place went to Shell Wildsmith, a mature student at Staffordshire University, who has been organising sessions of Rush Hockey – a new informal version of the sport – to introduce students to the game.
Awards were also given to recognise some of the amazing Sportivate projects happening around the country with Rowing in 2012 named as Sportivate project of the year. The project has worked with local schools, colleges, young offender institutions and groups supporting young disabled people, to introduce the sport of rowing.
Speaking about the project, Amanda Foister from Longridge Activity Centre said:
“We have been delighted to help over 100 young people try rowing for the first time. Sport can help people develop in many different ways and we are really pleased that so many of the participants are planning to either keep rowing or give another new sport a go.”
Second place went to Cumbrian project, CanDance, which has created six new inclusive youth dance groups, one in each of Cumbria's districts. The project was set up after a consultation revealed a lack of inclusive dance opportunities in Cumbria for young people with learning disabilities such as autism.
The Twilight Football project in Suffolk was awarded third place in the 2012 Sportivate awards in recognition of is inspiring work with young people Ipswich. Young people were encouraged to take up football on Friday evenings, an approach that has seen a drop in anti-social behaviour in the area.
The awards were presented by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP, and Don Foster MP for Bath, with all finalists receiving tickets to the Olympic Games from the hundreds of tickets made available to Sport England via the London 2012 Ticketshare initiative.
Sportivate and Sport Makers are part of Sport England’s legacy programme, Places People Play, bring the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into the heart of local communities across England.
To find out more information about Sport Makers and Sportivate in the West of England Please visit www.wesport.org.uk/wesportprogrammes.