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- 03 July 2014 00:00
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A major nationwide partnership promoting community sport and volunteering has been launched.
The partnership, consisting of Asda Community Life, Sports Leaders UK, ukactive and Spirit of 2012 Trust, aims to significantly increase the numbers of young people that take part in physical activity, promote healthier lifestyle options and increase sports leaders’ volunteering hours in local communities to one million hours a year.
The three-year programme will deliver activities inspired by the athletic achievements and public spiritedness of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is designed to make a significant difference to the lives of young people and communities across the UK.
The plans are based around the renowned leadership qualifications offered by Sports Leaders UK, the reach of Asda Community Life, the commitment to health and fitness of ukactive and the vision of the Spirit of 2012 Trust.
"A recent report by the All-Party Commission on Physical Activity highlighted some shocking statistics about the levels of inactivity amongst children,” explained Sports Leaders UK CEO Linda Plowright.
"There are some great examples of programmes aiming to combat sedentary lifestyles – this is one of them. It focuses on the enjoyment of physical activity, which is how we’ll encourage behaviour change in young people.”
The activities have already kicked-off with the start of Asda Active Sports Days, powered by Sports Leaders UK.
A total of 400 schools across the country will host flagship sports days, organised and run by local sports leader volunteers, with support from Asda’s local Community Life Champions.
"At Asda, we're dedicated to making our local communities better places to live and work for our colleagues and customers, which is why we are extremely excited about our new three-year partnership which aims to get even more people active in their local areas,” said the Community Life Manager at Asda Holly Austen-Davies.
"Through volunteering and sporting activities, our aim, together with our partners, is to keep the spirit of the Olympics alive for years to come by encouraging people to lead healthier lifestyles and give back to the communities in which they live and work."
Further plans include training an extra 50,000 young people to become qualified sports leaders, who will then be able to promote active and healthy lifestyles in their communities.
The programme is one of the first to be funded by the Spirit of 2012 Trust, which was established to ensure the values, opportunities and spirit of the London 2012 Games is experienced by everyone, everywhere.
"Sport can be an incredible enabler for change,” said Spirit of 2012 CEO Debbie Lye.
"Volunteering is at the heart of Spirit’s mission to encourage participation and well-being, and therefore we are hugely proud to be helping this partnership deliver such fantastic work in so many of our communities.”
Ukactive CEO David Stalker is equally excited about the partnership.
"We brokered this partnership because of our fundamental belief that physical activity from an early age is crucial to long term health and well-being,” he said.
"Asda’s commitment to its communities and the reach and quality of what Sports Leaders UK do every day makes this the perfect partnership to help children and families become more active.
"We are thrilled that the Spirit of 2012 Trust believed in the vision of our project and have joined us as a partner.”