EVERYONE involved with the Community Programme are only now recovering from the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Given our location and the networks and quality of delivery we always aspired to be in pole position to benefit from the Games. Seven years of hard work and behind the scenes negotiating with the Olympic family, local authorities, partners and funders really paid off as we were able to deliver a memorable time to our communities that we serve.
On the ground we delivered a major sports participation programme in partnership with main host borough Newham across all of their live sites and other key locations, engaging with over 2,000 children and young people. 200 of them were able to benefit from free ‘key seat tickets’ which Newham received, visiting the park in total 10 times over the course of the Olympics and Paralympics.
Through our links with the London Organising Committee we managed to access some of their excellent outreach and engagement initiatives. This included 10 young people forming a guard of honour in the Olympic Park on the night of the Opening Ceremony; six young people working as Young Presenters as part of the Sports Presentation Team, witnessing first hand some of the most thrilling events, interviewing the public and introducing the events. Eight young people also worked as young games makers assisting the teams in the stadium during the Paralympic Games.
These were all fantastic opportunities for our young people, something hopefully that they will remember for a long time and help shape their futures.
The icing on the cake was working first hand with three major teams who were based at SCORE in Leyton and we were absolutely delighted to host the US Boxing, Volleyball and Judo teams and the Italian Beach Volleyball Teams as well as the US and German Paralympic Sitting Volleyball teams. Not only did they help us improve and invest in the facilities but also engaged with the local community, meeting and greeting their athletes, viewing coaching sessions and going out into the local area.
This included 100 local teenagers watching the men’s volleyball train and joining WWE Wrestler and former US Olympic Weightlifter Mark Henry AKA ‘Sexual Chocolate’ in a very entertaining Q and A session.
In total over 80 athletes used the sports facilities on a daily basis for the period, honing their skills. They were joined by a further 40 coaches and sports administrators as they worked hard to fulfil their dreams and four years of hard work.
The teams really made themselves at home bringing in all of the resources and refreshments required to achieve the highest standard.
During the training period SCORE hosted its first Volleyball International when the US Men’s team played a friendly against Australia. The entire NBC network also descended on the facility to interview and film the Boxing squad being put through their paces. During the Paralympics Volleyball teams from Iran and China also visited and played friendlies.
In the end eight medals were secured by the teams:
Gold Medals – Claressa Shields, Women’s Middleweight Boxing Champion (USA)
Kayla Harrison, Women’s Judo (73kg) Champion (USA)
Silver Medals – Men’s Archery Team (USA)
Women’s Volleyball Team (USA)
Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team (USA)
Bronze Medals – Marlen Esparza, Women’s Flyweight Boxing (USA)
Marti Malloy, Women’s Judo (57kg) (USA)
Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team (Germany)
Now the Games are just a memory we are working hard to maintain the momentum with local partners and agencies. Legacy means a great deal to us and we look forward to working with them to secure long term benefits.