Medal Winners and Sporting Greats Get Behind Grassroots Campaign to Ensure Sports Participation and Volunteering Legacy
This is the first opportunity to translate the “magic moment” unlocked by hosting the Games with 5,000 events nationwide set to bring the Olympics back to local communities.
A nationwide grassroots campaign to capture the once in a lifetime opportunity of hosting the Olympic Games in the UK will see 5,000 events happen across the UK as part of building the sporting and volunteering legacy from London 2012. The campaign will mark the first national sporting weekend of its kind to be put on by a host country in the immediate afterglow of the Games.
‘Join In Local Sport’ is an independent charity funded by government with the specific aim of getting as many people as possible to turn up, take part and join in at their local sports facilities on 18th / 19th August - the first weekend after the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. It is backed by Team GB medal winners past and present, HRH the Duke of Cambridge as well as UK Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron MP and London 2012 Chairman, Lord Coe KBE.
Sport clubs and communities across the UK have been preparing for the unprecedented enthusiasm for sport that they always knew hosting the Games in the UK would generate. The ‘Join In’ weekend is designed to help capture the spirit of the Games and bring it back to the place it begins for all great champions - their local sports facilities. Enabling clubs to convert this once in a lifetime wave of interest into help, support and membership from their local community.
Local sports groups will take advantage of this unique moment within their communities with opportunities for people who have been inspired by the Games to help out, give time,
support, watch or play sport. To find out what events are happening near you, simply go to the Join In website – www.joininuk.org– and enter you post code.
Over the last three months over 5,000 events have signed up representing every nation and region in the UK, and covering more than three dozen sports, from athletics to swimming, to canoeing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey and karate.
As part of the weekend sporting icons Daley Thompson, Sharron Davies and Jonathan Edwards join forces to complete a cross-country challenge, anchored by broadcaster John Inverdale, to visit a wide range of these sports clubs over one weekend.
The former Olympic champions and London 2012 Olympic pundit will tour the length and breadth of Britain aboard the Join in “Battle Bus”, which will stop off to visit events at local sports clubs, encouraging the local community to join in as they go.
The sporting greats will be joined by current Olympians over the weekend as they make surprise appearances, take part in activities, try out a new sports and offer a helping hand to the volunteers to make the ‘Join In’ message as impactful as possible.
David Moorcroft, former 5,000m world record holder and Director of Sport at Join in, said:
“No host country has ever done what we are trying to do with the ‘Join In’ weekend and that is to capture this magic moment for all time. The ‘Join in’ weekend is a great opportunity to harness the enthusiasm generated by the Games, for sport and for volunteering, and channel it through local sports clubs - which is where every great champion starts out.”
Christine Ohuruogu, MBE, 400 metres gold medallist at the Beijing Games and silver medallist at the London 2012 Olympics, said:
“Let’s all take advantage of the spirit of London 2012 by joining in this weekend and going back to where it all begins at your local sports clubs.”
His Royal Highnesses, The Duke of Cambridge, said:
“The incredible achievements of Team GB at London 2012 would not have been possible without the work that goes on at sports clubs up and down the country to forge the athletes of the future. Join In UK will provide thousands of people a chance to volunteer in their local club or even try – for free – a sport that may be new to them and to experience for themselves, at whatever level of ability, the joy that sport can bring.
“Harry and I are delighted to hear that Join In now has over 5,000 events signed up. We encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of this incredible summer of sport by joining in at a local participating club on the weekend of 18th and 19th August.
"We hope that Team GB’s successes will inspire many people to fulfil their potential.”
Seb Coe, Chair of London 2012 and personal supporter of ‘Join In’, said:
“We are really happy to support the ‘Join In’ project, it is a great idea that means that thousands of people across the UK can turn up and take part in local sports just after the Olympic Games finishes.
“Millions will have been inspired by what they have witnessed over the summer and I hope this creates opportunities in every community for people to join in their local sports clubs.”
David Cameron MP, UK Prime Minister, said:
“The fantastic spectacle of sport that we have all had the privilege to witness over the last fortnight would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the Games Makers and other volunteers. As I’ve visited Olympic venues this summer, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many of the volunteers and have been touched by their passion and dedication. They have not only helped to ensure that the Games have run so smoothly, but their friendliness and humour has been infectious and has ensured a warm British welcome to the world.
“We need to make the most of this magic moment and harness the enthusiasm for sport and for volunteering the Games has generated. That’s why the ‘Join In Local Sport’ project is so important, so that we bring London 2012 back to the place it begins for every great champion: their local sports club and the great volunteers who make it all possible.”
Join In events will be taking place in villages, towns and cities up and down the country, with Sharron Davies , John Inverdale and Daley Thompson kicking off their ‘Battle Bus’ tour from Glasgow on Friday 17th August before visiting clubs in regions including:
Friday 17th August – Scotland, North East
Saturday 18th August – Yorkshire, East Midlands, East Anglia, West Midlands
Sunday 19th August – Wales, South West, South East, London