UK Inspire Day, 16 May, is a celebration of the London 2012 Inspire programme – a family of over 2,700 projects across the UK that have been inspired by the Games and motivated people to do something special in their local communities.
Essex has seen over 40 local community and countywide projects receive the coveted ‘Inspire Mark’ offering residents of all ages, across the county the opportunity to join in with Games-inspired activity and try something new. With over 20 projects currently running across Essex, there’s still time for you to get involved.
Essex County Councillor Stephen Castle, Cabinet Member for Education and the 2012 Games commented: “I am delighted to see so many projects across Essex receive this award in recognition of the important contribution they have made to bring the spirit of the Games into local communities. I would like to offer my congratulations and my thanks to all who have worked so hard at getting these projects running and the commitment they have shown in inspiring our residents.”
Inspire Mark projects span the themes of sport, culture, education, business, volunteering and sustainability. Here in Essex there are projects and activities for all communities to be a part of and try something new.
SX Urban Games
The SX Urban Games started as a pilot event in Brentwood back in 2009 and is a series of alternative street sports such as skateboarding, bmx-ing, streetball, boxing and hip-hop dancing, based at skate parks and urban park locations across Essex.
The success of the SX Urban Games has grown significantly over the years, rising from seven events in 2010 to 18 events across the county this year.
SX Urban Games gives young people the opportunity to come and try some of the sports demonstrated on the day and meet the organisers and young people who are there to get involved. Events are still happening across Essex until September, for more information visit: www.facebook.com/sxurbangames or Tweet #sxurbangames.
Active Plus Games
The Active Plus Games was launched in October 2011 offering fitness incentives for the over 50s in Castle Point, Rochford and Southend-on-Sea. The scheme provides the over fifties with a voucher, allowing them to participate in a number of free physical activities including Chairfit classes, Nordic Walking and access to local gym facilities.
Since the schemes launch over 200 people have participated in the Active Plus Games and Local Authorities are now looking to take this scheme to the rest of the county. For more information visit www.essexlegacy.org.
Essex Carrying the Flame Education Programme
Essex Carrying the Flame is an Education framework set up by Essex County Council to use the inspiration of London 2012 to encourage learning in all areas of the National Curriculum.
The resources available provide schools with examples of practical blocks of work, lesson plans projects, activities and games. The Carrying the Flame framework supports the current Essex Physical Education and School Sport programmes and initiatives, as well as highlighting cross-curricular ideas that can be used to support a 2012 Games-related festival or sporting event.
There are many projects within the programme that have also been awarded individual Inspire Marks including Essex Art Baton Relay, Essex Reading Relay and the Essex Mini Games. For more information visit www.essexlegacy.org/schools.
Walking / cycling your way to the Games
Local Authorities in Essex are teaming up with Essex County Council to deliver a series of led walks and cycle rides for people of all abilities to take part in. Residents can take part to improve their health and fitness, make friends as well as develop their cycling skills. With an estimated 3000 participants in 2012, this Inspire Mark project is a popular choice for local residents.
If you would like to find out about more Inspire Mark projects in your area visit www.essexlegacy.org/inspire.