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Rebecca Adlington launches 2014 Legacy Games Day Programme

Basildon opportunity

The youngsters in Basildon had a golden opportunity to visit the flagship Everyone Active Basildon Sporting Village for the day and the chance to enjoy a taster of its top-class sports facilities. After a motivational mass warm-up with Rebecca Adlington and fellow GB Olympic swimmer and sports personality Steve Parry, they split into smaller groups to enjoy a variety of sports, activities and team building challenges to inspire them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

“Getting kids active is vitally important and the Legacy Games Day engages them in a fun way,” says Rebecca. “I was only too pleased to encourage the children to try something new and try their best. Without encouragement none of us gets too far and my aim was to spur them on and instil confidence for future activities.”

Working in partnership

“Here in Basildon, as with other local areas where we have held a Legacy Games Day, the Council, community and schools were quick to embrace the idea,” says Duncan Jefford. “Key to our day is a series of presentations to Council leaders, local businesses, industry, sport and education stakeholders to engage them in our vision and encourage their buy in to continue with the provision of activity and sport for the youngsters in their area.”

Double Olympic gold medal winner Rebecca Adlington, OBE made waves as she launched the fourth schools Legacy Games Day organised by Fit For Sport at the Everyone Active Basildon Sporting Village on Thursday May 15, 2014. The 25 year old swimming sensation joined in the mass warm- up and then spent time with each group of children as they took part in a series of sports activities and healthy games.

The Legacy Games Day initiative is a joint initiative between Fit For Sport - the UK’s leading provider of children’s activities – and Everyone Active which aims to deliver a legacy of sport, competition and community engagement to children aged 7-11. Earlier this year it won the coveted ‘Inspired by 2012 Mark’ from the Cabinet Office which is awarded to organisations whose successful projects and events have been inspired by the London 2012 Games and their legacy. This is the fourth legacy day of a programme that started in early 2013.

High praise

“I am delighted to support Fit For Sport and Everyone Active for their ‘Legacy Games’" says Sebastian Coe CH, KBE, the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Ambassador. "I hope that this programme, which has been awarded the ‘inspired by 2012’ legacy brand, continues to grow and support communities, schools and families to become more active. It is a showcase of the lasting Olympic and Paralympic Legacy and one that I hope will encourage others to join in and move more.”

Building a legacy

So far, the four Legacy Games Days have seen 4,000 children from diverse backgrounds enjoy a day of activities and sport. Around 80 teachers from 40 schools have witnessed the event and come away with support materials and the promise of further training to enable them to

June 2014

continue and cascade the activities and inspiration across their school community. Over 6,800 children in the three contract areas covered by the Legacy Games Day events last year in Sutton, Watford and Harrow have completed activities at the Everyone Active Leisure centres, showing that the ‘halo’ effect extends beyond those children who take part on the Day itself.

“I’m delighted to report that the Legacy Games Days are proving effective in increasing activity levels among children local to the events long after the Day itself,” says Duncan Jefford, Everyone Active South East Regional Director. “We can see from attendance at our centres that it’s not just the children who did the Legacy Games who return for more activity: the message has inspired other local youngsters and parents to take up activities.”

Dean Horridge, founder and CEO of Fit For Sport agrees that the Legacy Games Days are successful in cascading the activity message across communities. “Our Fit For Sport teams have been invited to deliver our programmes not just in schools that participated in the Legacy Games Days but in other local schools which have heard about the event,” he says. “We are supporting teachers to deliver physical activity across many more schools and this ripple effect across the local school communities is really encouraging. What a wonderful day in Basildon to kick off the 2014 Legacy programme.”

All children, all abilities

A key objective of the Legacy Games Day is to give children the opportunity to engage with new activities and sports and with the emphasis on participation and fun, children of all abilities feel able to take part. After lunch, there are a few competitive sprints races for those who want to compete, followed by the ultimate inter-school relay with teams of up to 50. The day ends with a closing ceremony where medals are handed out.

Dean Horridge agrees: “The Legacy Games brings communities together and bridges the gap between facilities, schools and experts,” he says. “The activity day is designed to complement and support schools’ programmes. Our experience shows that, with a little effort and commitment, fitness professionals, education specialists and local communities can work together to develop a lasting legacy of activity for children.”

Ongoing legacy

Everyone Active and Fit For Sport are continuing their legacy initiative in partnership with Active Essex, by offering local schools’ PE teachers, head teachers and support staff a free hosted Engagement and Activities Forum at Basildon Sporting Village in July. This will support them and their school in ensuring high-quality school sport is embedded within Essex as part of a long term sustainable legacy. Furthermore, Everyone Active is offering to deliver free school swimming to Basildon schools for the next academic year, starting in September 2014. Four more Legacy Games Days are planned for 2014 in St Albans, Spelthorne, Ongar and Hornchurch. 11

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