Press release issued 15 March 2013
The Olympic legacy is continuing in Bristol thanks to the Bristol Festival of School Sport which will see 1,300 school children discover a range of new activities under the guidance of past, present and future sporting stars.
New sports such as fencing, handball, seated volleyball and BMX have been introduced this year to reflect their popularity at the Olympic Games in London last summer.
Youngsters will also get the chance to meet Paralympian Katrina Hart, who sprinted to a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay at London 2012.
Members of the University’s High Performance Squad – a group of elite student athletes who receive support to fulfill their academic and sporting potential - will also be on hand to inspire participants and spot future talent.
Designed to encourage sport participation and healthy living, the event targets young people to actively engage them in a range of activities they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to try, from rowing to cheerleading.
Dan Cossins, a former GB 400m runner, will be on hand with coaching advice. He’ll outline how taking part in the Bristol Festival of School Sport acted as a springboard for other youngsters whose talent was spotted.
Katie Corkill, RELAYS School Event Coordinator from Bristol University, said: “The festival’s been growing in popularity each year because we’re able to offer sports which the children wouldn’t be able to try elsewhere. Grassroots events such as this are a big part of the London 2012 legacy.
“We’ve introduced some Olympic sports this year which will give the youngsters the opportunity to try something new and hopefully inspire them to pursue in the future. We’re really lucky to have Katrina and other successful athletes on hand to show what can be achieved. We hope hundreds of youngsters will go home feeling truly inspired and motivated by sport.”
The Festival is organised by the University of Bristol in partnership with a South West regional sports programme called RELAYS (Regional Educational Legacy for Art & Youth Sport), with support from The John Rutley Sports Fund, Healthy Schools Bristol and the Ashton Park School Sport Partnership.
Over 100 volunteers and coaches from the University of Bristol will be helping to run the event, passing on their expertise in martial arts, fencing, korfball, handball, ultimate frisbee, American football, lacrosse and futsal among others.
Each school will be assigned a country to represent as they replace the format of the Olympics, competing against other nations for medals and a place on the podium.
The Bristol Festival of School Sport has been part of the official ‘Inspired By 2012’ programme since its development in 2009.
London 2012 Inspire programme
The London 2012 Inspire mark, the badge of the Inspire programme, recognises exceptional projects and events which have been inspired by the 2012 Games. Projects reflect the Olympic and Paralympic values. So far only a handful of projects around the UK have received this special award.
The John Rutley Sport Fund is managed by the University of Bristol and is used to develop a range of sport and activity related projects that will help young people in Bristol increase activity levels and opportunities for social inclusion.
Pupils at the Bristol Festival of School Sport
The festival’s been growing in popularity each year because we’re able to offer sports which the children wouldn’t be able to try elsewhere. Grassroots events such as this are a big part of the London 2012 legacy.