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- 07 November 2013 00:00
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GB beach volleyball player Zara Dampney has praised Sport England’s Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative Sportivate, which is designed to get young people who aren’t particularly sporty excited about physical activity.
Sportivate receives £56 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England to give 11 to 25-year-olds six to eight weeks’ free coaching in a new sport and then helps them find low costs ways to continue to playing.
Dampney - who proved one of the stars of London 2012 as she competed for Team GB alongside Shauna Mullion at Horse Guards Parade - is one of Sport England’s Sporting Champions.
Sporting Champions offer targeted support to Sportivate sessions across the country by working alongside coaches to help inspire and motivate young participants.
In her capacity as a Sporting Champions, Dampney launched a high-profile eight week Sportivate volleyball course at Tauton’s Richard Huish College.
Many of the young people involved were so inspired by her that they continued their involvement in the sport at Taunton Volleyball Club, which was the designated "exit route” for the Sportivate project.
Dampney returned to Taunton this week to provide even more guidance to youngsters in attendance as she talked up the benefits of Sportivate and the Sporting Champions initiative.
"Sportivate is a fantastic national lottery funded initiative because it goes out to people who aren’t particularly sporty and gets them involved in it,” Dampney said.
"As a Sporting Champion, my goal is to inspire them and keep them engaged in sport, whatever level they play at.
"I really enjoyed my most recent visit to the Sportivate Volleyball project at the Richard Huish College but the best thing was seeing that most of them were inspired enough to continue their involvement in the sport by going to Taunton Volleyball Club.
"That underlines the true effectiveness of this initiative and shows a real legacy from London 2012.”
The latest figures published in July 2013 show that almost 250,000 teenagers and young adults have so far benefited from free or discounted six-to-eight week sports coaching courses through Sportivate and of these over 200,000 have successfully completed their course, missing no more than one session.
Sporting Champions is delivered on behalf of Sport England by Inspired Exchange in partnership with the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust.
To find out more about Sporting Champions, Click Here