Five Young Leaders from London 2012’s international legacy programme, International Inspiration, today visited the Olympic Park and the Aquatics Centre. As part of the visit, they met with II Foundation Chair Sir Keith Mills and International Inspiration Ambassador Tanni Grey-Thompson and asked the multiple-Gold medallist about competing at a Paralympic Games.

The Young Leaders, two from Kano and Abuja, Nigeria,one from Derbyshire in the UK and two from Putrajaya and Perak in Malaysia, came down to London as part of a special trip after volunteering at the Sainsbury’s UK School Games. Every year, International Inspiration partner the British Council (and their delivery partner the Youth Sport Trust) brings Young Leaders from the programme to volunteer at the UK School Games where they meet other Young Leaders from the UK and around the world and learn about leadership and cultural diversity.

International Inspiration is bringing to life London 2012’s promise to reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport.

London 2012 recently announced that International Inspiration has been so successful it had already achieved its vision of reaching 12 million children and young people, a year earlier than planned. The programme is now active in 17 countries around the world, from Azerbaijan to Zambia.

Delivered in partnership with UK Sport, UNICEF and the British Council, International Inspiration aims to use the power of physical education, sport and play to enrich the lives of millions of children and young people of all abilities. The programme works with local communities, teachers, coaches and governments to improve children’s lives and give them the chance to take part in sport and play. Through sport, young people learn how to become leaders, be positive role models and inspire their peers.

In Nigeria and Malaysia, International Inspiration aims to raise the profile of sport, building the skills of teachers and Young Leaders to deliver high quality and inclusive PE and sport, and increasing the interest and enthusiasm for sport in the wider community, providing young people of all abilities with better access to sport and PE.

Recent successes of International Inspiration in Malaysia include over 100,000 schoolchildren, including disabled children, benefiting from activities and training organised through the programme. In Nigeria, the IAAF Kids’ Athletics programme will be rolled out across 900 of Lagos State’s schools, to train 800 teachers to deliver high-quality activities, and reach 200,000 children who will have the opportunity to discover the thrill of athletics.

International Inspiration Ambassador Tanni Grey-Thompson said: “I was thrilled to meet some of the Young Leaders involved in International Inspiration – they’re incredibly inspiring and ambitious young people. They are a testimony to what the programme is delivering around the world and demonstrate the impact that physical education and sport can have on young people’s lives.”

Ebere, aged 15, from Nigeria said: “International Inspiration aims to bring students close together using sports as a vehicle. It brings communities and people together to interact with one another. Since becoming involved with International Inspiration, my leadership qualities have improved and I am looking forward to going back and sharing what I have learned with other students at my school. I’m very lucky to have been able to visit the Olympic Park today, it’s been really inspirational and has made me want to join a basketball club and hopefully one day, I’ll play for the Nigerian National team.”

The London 2012 programme will continue in some countries until 2014. In each country the focus of the programme is on activities and strategies that will deliver long-term sustainable change, such as promoting positive changes to government policy and introducing training programmes in schools for teachers and coaches. This helps ensure that the impacts of the programme and benefits to children and young people will continue long after the London 2012 Games have finished.

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Notes to editors: 

As it heads towards its £2bn budget for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games, LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-seven domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, NATURE VALLEY, Next, The Nielsen Company, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster and Trebor.

There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games Partner, Sainsbury’s and one domestic Tier Three Paralympic Supplier, Otto Bock.

The Worldwide Olympic Partners signed up for London 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow Chemical Company, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.