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15th June 2011, 10:21am
Lincoln the launch pad for Olympic legacy campaign
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson meets local sportspeople The University of Lincoln was the venue for the launch of a national campaign aimed at fulfilling the London 2012 Olympic legacy by getting more young people involved in sport.

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport, was the special guest for the launch of Sportivate, Sport England’s Lottery-funded project designed to give more teenagers and young adults the opportunity to play sport.

The Minister was joined at the launch event at the University’s Sports Centre by Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England, and Zoe Smith, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and London 2012 medal hopeful.

They were greeted by scores of students from schools across the county who demonstrated sporting activities including wheelchair basketball, football, cricket and badminton. The guests were given a tour of the University’s newly expanded Human Performance Centre, including a look around the cutting-edge biomechanics lab.

Robin Wright, Director of Sport at the University of Lincoln, said: “This event was a fantastic opportunity for the University of Lincoln to parade the superb sports offer that exists here for our students and the wider community. It also was recognition by sport at the highest level of the strong University and community collaboration which prevails here in Lincoln and which signals a beacon of good practice to other universities.”

Sportivate will give 14- to 25-year-olds across the country the chance to receive six to eight weeks of coaching in a sport of their choice. Launched in Lincolnshire by Sport England and Lincolnshire Sports Partnership, the £32 million National Lottery-funded project aims to get those who are not currently playing sport in their own time to get out and give sport a go.

As part of the ‘Places People Play’ mass participation legacy programme, it will see 300,000 teenagers and young adults across England completing sports courses over four years.

Thanks to £395,000 of Lottery investment in Lincolnshire, at least 3,700 local people will be able to take part in activities such as badminton, rugby, judo, show jumping and indoor climbing.

Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price said: “Lots of young people think sport isn’t for them. I would like them to have the chance to discover whether there is a sport they really enjoy, so this programme is all about choice. Everyone who takes part will receive high quality coaching – giving them the confidence and skills which will make them want to keep playing in the future.”

The event came on the same day that the University hosted a free public lecture by Sir Craig Reedie CBE, a key figure behind the successful London 2012 bid, as part of its Lincoln Academy programme.

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