London 2012 International Inspiration programme reaches 5 million children and young people around the world

Published 24 June 2010


To celebrate Olympic Day, London 2012 has announced that over 5 million children and young people from around the world are benefiting from the London 2012 Games through the international legacy programme, International Inspiration.

International Inspiration is the result of the promise made in 2005 to use the London 2012 Games to reach young people around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport. It aims to provide high-quality physical education, sport and play opportunities to children and young people around the world and is delivered by UK Sport, UNICEF and the British Council. The aim is to reach 12 million children in 20 counties by 2012. International Inspiration is already changing the lives of young people in 13 countries – Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Jordan, India, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Palau, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey and Zambia.

Schools in the UK are also celebrating Olympic Day and their link to International Inspiration. Ivybridge Community College and St Lukes Science and Sports College are both linked to schools in Nigeria and will be welcoming teachers on an official visit. St Lukes will be hosting an evening of Sporting Excellence, which Olympic Silver medallist Miriam Batten will attend. Students will explain what motivate and inspires them about International Inspiration and the London 2012 Games.

School partnerships between the UK and International Inspiration countries are an integral part of the programme. They provide an opportunity for teachers, children and young people to develop and share innovative approaches to PE, sport and play in the classroom and their local community, as well as learn about and understand each other’s cultures, experiences and international development issues.

Examples of young people around the world who have benefited from the programme include Parvez, a 10 year old from Mirpur, Dhaka in Bangladesh, who has learnt to swim thanks to a project called SwimSafe. More than 17,000 children lose their lives each year because of drowning and it is the lead cause of death in children aged 1-4 years of age.

Thanks to International Inspiration, Parvez's hidden talent and enthusiasm for sport was discovered and his speed and ability in the water were recognised by the Bangladesh Swimming Federation. He's now being billed as a future butterfly champion and potentially even an international competitor.

Parvez said: “Before I started the swimming lessons, I was a bit scared of the water. I wanted to play with my friends so I would still go, but I'd stay in the shallow parts. Now I swim anywhere.”

His achievements have also inspired his friends to follow in his footsteps and take up swimming: “Now a lot of my friends want to take swimming lessons too, and a lot of them already have."

Charles Albuquerque, 28 years old and from Igaci in Brazil has found a new lease of life thanks to the programme. As a young person living with a disability and coming from a poor family, he originally thought his opportunities in life would be limited. However, thanks to International Inspiration, Charles now works with about 800 children who had never played sports in school before, inspiring them to learn about new sports and making sure that they have the chance to try them out.

Charles said: “Neither my economic situation, dyslexia or physical disability prevented me from becoming the professional I am today. On the contrary – the difficulties I faced in my life made me even more motivated and committed towards children’s right to play sports. I am very proud to be part of the International Inspiration initiative.”

Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: “The reason we made this promise in Singapore was for people like Parvez and Charles and the millions of other young people around the world - so that they could have the same opportunities in life as everyone else. We took a clear promise to Singapore – to encourage the youth around the world to choose sport. I saw for myself in India the positive impact this programme is having and I’m delighted to know that thanks to International Inspiration, we are inspiring children and young people to go beyond their personal best and achieve their dreams.”

-  Ends -

For further information please contact the London 2012 Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 100 or visit the website at Find out the latest from London 2012 HQ on our blog or follow us on Twitter

- Notes to Editors -

For more information on UNICEF and the case studies outlined in the release, please contact Liz Jones from UNICEF UK on 0207 375 6096 or

International Inspiration is a unique partnership of public and private organisations. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has joined forces with the programme’s key delivery partners, UK Sport, UNICEF UK and the British Council, to bring International Inspiration to fruition as a core strand of the London 2012 international education programme. Other partners and funders of International Inspiration include the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department for International Development, the Premier League, the British Olympic Association, the British Paralympic Association and the Youth Sports Trust.

International Inspiration is governed by an independent charitable foundation. The project is delivered by UK Sport, UNICEF and British Council working closely with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), the UK Government, the Youth Sport Trust, the Premier League, the BOA, the BPA, individual donors and other partners.

To enable longer-term impact, the programme is developed jointly with the governments, National Olympic Committees and National Paralympic Committees, where appropriate, of participating countries. The programme is supported and welcomed by the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee.

As it heads towards its £2bn budget for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games, LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are seventeen domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, GSK, Gymnova, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, Next, The Nielsen Company, Populous, Ticketmaster and Trident.

There is now one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games Partner, Sainsbury’s.

The Worldwide Olympic Partners signed up for London 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung and Visa.

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