The‘Loughborough Flames: Lighting the Way to 2012 and Beyond’ project is aunique and innovative sports leadership programme piloted byLoughborough College, in partnership with the British Heart Foundation.The project has now been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark,following a hugely successful sports festival event hosted at thecollege in May, attended by special guest and Olympian Steve Cram.Inspired and driven by 2012, the project aimed to educate young peopleabout the history and culture of the Olympic Games, whilst motivatingthem to be more physically active.
Using the2012 Games as a catalyst, sports leaders from Loughborough College areworking to increase the levels of physical activity in primary schoolchildren across the local area.
Charlie Watts, Loughborough College FESCo explains:
“We recognise the wealth of opportunities presented to us by the 2012Games and have decided that London 2012 is an ideal vehicle to getyoung children from the Charnwood area more physically active. It isalso a perfect opportunity to create and leave a sustainable healthlegacy in the local community.”
Loughborough College sports leaders, who have completed the CommunitySports Leadership Award (generally as part of their National Diploma inSport), receive the British Heart Foundation’s Active Club Pack andassociated training. This provides them with a range of fun andenergetic activities for the children. The leaders then plan anddeliver enjoyable Olympic themed sport and health programmes in localprimary schools over a six week period.
In order to expand the scope of the project the children involved areeducated on the history and culture of the Games. Each session iscentred around an activity directly related to London 2012 and leadersfacilitate discussions and encourage enquiry to reinforce the Olympicand Paralympic values.
To encourage the children to be more physically active, sports leadersmonitor and acknowledge levels of activity through the use of theBritish Heart Foundation ‘Physical Activity Pocket Planners’.Additionally, children receive a ‘Get Kids on the Go’ booklet to takehome to their parents with tips on how supporting their children to bemore active.
The six week programme culminated in a celebration event atLoughborough College organised by the sports leaders and attended byall participating schools, a sports personality and the British HeartFoundation mascot, Hearty. As with any Olympic or Paralympic Games,this event included an Opening and Closing ceremony, together with awhole range of Olympic sports and a torch relay using the College’s1948 Olympic Torch.
Over 100 young leaders and 200 children have been involved in thepilot, with all the schools involved visiting Loughborough College’sfacilities in May 2009 to participate in the mini Olympics festival andcelebrate the success of the project. The resounding success of theLoughborough Flames pilot means that it will continue to be delivereduntil 2012 and beyond, involving many more young leaders and children.