Lincolnshire’s youngsters inspired into sport as Olympic excitement takes hold

By NickiBlake on May 30th, 2012 - comments

SportivateOver a thousand young people in Lincolnshire have been inspired to get involved in sport thanks to Sport England’s Sportivate Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative.

Aimed at 14 – 25-year-olds who currently aren’t playing sport in their own time, Sportivate gives them the chance to find a sport they enjoy. They are then helped to find a club or venue where they can keep taking part.

18-year-old Jacob Mellaney, a student at the University of Lincoln, is one of 1,547 teenagers and young adults in Lincolnshire to have completed a six to eight-week coaching course. He said: “The Learn to Row course has been great and something I really enjoyed. I have continued with the sport and have raced competitively and won already!”

Active Lincolnshires Partnership is running Sportivate in all seven districts of the county, including Rowing in Boston, Dance in Lincoln, Climbing in North Kesteven, Badminton in East Lindsey, Swimming in South Holland, Cricket in West Lindsey and Squash in South Kesteven.

Lucy Blakey is the Children and Young People’s Officer at Active Lincolnshires Partnership and manages the Sportivate programme for Lincolnshire. She said:

“Sportivate not only provides a great opportunity to encourage young people to get involved in sport; it provides a huge financial incentive for sports clubs, schools, leisure facilities and others, to deliver more sport across Lincolnshire. We have had a great first year and look to do even better for the second year. We want to see an increase in sports opportunities for young people in Lincolnshire.”

As part of the Places People Play official Olympic legacy programme, Sportivate will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people over four years.

Sport England’s Executive Director for Community Sport Mike Diaper said: “It’s fantastic that so many teenagers and young adults are getting into sport through Sportivate. Whether it’s BMX biking, canoeing or netball, I’ve been really struck by the enthusiasm of the young people and impressed that so many of them are continuing to play once the course is over.”

To help inspire and motivate the participants, Sporting Champions – a team of current and retired elite athletes – are visiting Sportivate sessions to share their experiences and enthusiasm for sport.