Kent youngsters inspired into sport after success of London 2012
Thousands of young people in Kent have been inspired to get involved in sport thanks to Sport England’s Sportivate Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative.
Taylor Pearce, a single arm below the elbow amputee (T46) is one of 2270 teenagers and young adults in Kent to have completed a six to eight-week coaching course in a sport of their choice through the National Lottery funded project. Taylor attended an Athletics Sportivate course delivered by Ashford Leisure Trust and then went on to compete in the sport for the first time. Taylor competed in the women’s 100m sprint and her time of 14.75s put her top of the 2012 UK rankings for the T46 classification. Her time was also inside the Paralympic B Qualifying Standard for the London 2012 Games, although these Games come too early in Taylor’s Athletics career.
Sportivate is aimed at 14 to 25-year-olds who currently aren’t playing sport in their own time, giving them the chance to find a sport they enjoy. The young people are then helped to find a club or venue where they can keep taking part.
Kent Sport is co-ordinating Sportivate in the County. Other examples of Sportivate projects on offer in the area include; Martial Arts in Canterbury and Medway, Equestrian at Callum Park in Swale, Tennis in Tonbridge and Malling, Boxing at various locations and Dance in Maidstone.
Kevin Day, Kent County Council’s Sport and Physical Activity Manager, said: “Sportivate is currently providing thousands of young people and young adults in the County with the opportunity to try a wide range of sports. Many of these are activities they may never have tried before and we are very grateful to the many partners who are supporting the programme and organising the sessions on offer.
With further funding for this work over the next few years, we will be working hard to ensure that there are opportunities for young people who are inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to get involved and stay involved in sport and be physically active for many years to come".
Sport England’s Executive Director for Community Sport Mike Diaper said: “It’s fantastic that so many teenagers and young adults are getting into sport through Sportivate.
Whether it’s BMX biking, canoeing or netball, I’ve been really struck by the enthusiasm of the young people on Sportivate sessions and impressed that so many of them are continuing once the course is over.”
As part of the Places People Play official Olympic legacy programme, Sportivate will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people over four years.
To help inspire and motivate the participants, our Sporting Champions - a team of current and retired elite athletes – are visiting Sportivate sessions to share their experiences and enthusiasm for sport.