Inspiring a generation

02 Sep 2021
Legacies for People

London 2012’s ambition was to “Inspire a Generation”. It led a high-profile initiative to encourage young people to fulfil their potential and maintain healthy, active lifestyles.

© 2011 / International Olympic Committee (IOC) - All rights reserved | Children participating in the ‘Get set’ programme activities.

Get Set, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) education programme, was set up to spread the Olympic spirit in schools and educate children on the Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect.

Eighty-five per cent of all UK schools participated in Get Set, with 92 per cent of teachers reporting that their pupils were inspired by the Games. Almost the same proportion of teachers (91 per cent) surveyed in 2016 agreed that, as a result of Get Set, pupils were more motivated. By 2018, the initiative had reached more than half of all 3-19-year-olds across the UK.

Teachers also reported boosts to pupils’ learning engagement, self-confidence and team-working skills. Children themselves were also aware of Get Set’s positive impact. When surveyed in 2017, 89 per cent believed the scheme had helped them to develop new skills, and almost the same number (88 per cent) had a desire to achieve more.

After the Games, the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association took over responsibility for developing and evolving the current programme. In the run-up to the 2020 Games for example, Get Set launched “Travel to Tokyo” to engage young people. Following the postponement of Tokyo 2020, this was refocused to increase engagement with families and give them activities to take part in at home.

Further afield, the “Inspire a Generation” vision stimulated the International Inspiration overseas programme. It was established to create a positive legacy for youth in developing nations, and was the first programme of its kind conceived and implemented by a host city. By 2016, the programme had reached more than 25 million people in 20 countries. The initiative trained more than 255,000 teachers, coaches and young leaders; and influenced 55 policies, strategies or legislative changes.

The International Inspiration programme came to a formal end in March 2014, but ongoing core funding enabled the scheme to become a sustainable charity, leading in the fields of education, health, peace and reconciliation in countries including India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Jamaica and Ghana. In 2016, International Inspiration formally merged with United Purpose, a charity which continues to use sport as a tool to deliver a range of development programmes across the world.

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