When Lord Sebastian Coe first revealed an ambitious programme in 2005 to use the power of the Olympic Games to inspire young people around the world to get interested and active in sports, the initial target was set at 12 million youngsters. It turns out the programme, like the London 2012 Olympic Games themselves, far exceeded expectations.
Two years after the Games, a new report puts the reach of the International Inspiration Programme – the cornerstone of the London 2012 Organising Committee’s international legacy initiative – at over 25 million young people in 20 countries worldwide.
The final evaluation report, which was prepared by the independent evaluation and monitoring organisation Ecorys UK, outlined the programme’s objectives, impact, and the extent to which it had delivered a sustainable legacy. In addition to inspiring 25 million young people through sport, the programme was also found to have successfully provided sports training to over a quarter of a million teachers, coaches and leaders and influenced 55 national policies, strategies and legislative changes.
According to the report, the programme has brought “wider benefits for children and young people” in the 20 countries, “including healthier lifestyles, increased engagement in education, personal development and social inclusion.”
Lord Coe, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Games of the XXX Olympiad and Chair of International Inspiration, said: “It’s nearly ten years ago that I made a promise to ‘reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport’, and nearly a decade on we will have inspired over 25 million children and young people around the world by providing education and sporting opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t have had.
“I am incredibly proud that we managed to make a difference, using sport as a tool for development, for so many children and young people all over the world, as a direct result of hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games here in the UK.”
The programme was delivered in partnership with UK Sport, the British Council, UNICEF UK and the legacy charity International Inspiration.