A campaign within The London 2012 Olympic Games
The stated goal of this unprecedented campaign by International Inspiration is to inspire young people across the world’s poorest countries to ‘enrich their lives through physical education, sport and play’.
So far, the campaign has reached 12.9 million children – some of them engaging in sports for the first time in their lives. Based on a network of 113,000 teachers, coaches and young leaders who were trained to lead sport and physical activity in their local schools and communities – International Inspiration is also being politically active, boasting direct influence over 36 changes in law, policy or strategy, in the long-term interest of young people from disenfranchised parts of the world.
Envisioning programme sustenance beyond the scheduled end date in 2014, the organisers are trying to leave a deep enough impression in the 20 countries they are active in, so that the legacy of International Inspiration will continue to change lives. Part of this legacy has been the successful linking between 273 schools in the UK and 273 schools overseas – laying the foundation for friendship, collaboration and international grass roots communication.
Ambassadors and supporters:
In order to bring notoriety to the campaign and to attract as many youths as possible into International Inspiration, internationally famous athletes are assuming the jobs of ambassadors for the programme, acting as role models for the kids they are trying to reach.
The list is long, but among the best known ambassadors there are sportsmen like David Beckham, Colin Jackson, Denise Lewis and Sir Chris Hoy – who need no introduction anywhere they go in the world, which makes them perfect for promoting this noble cause.
Part of the London 2012 Olympic Game efforts, International Inspiration is governed by an independent charity – The II Foundation, with massive support from UNICEF, UK Sport, The British Council, The Premier League and The British Olympic and Paralympic Associations along with many others.
Local governments and NGOs have also been brought into the effort to create as positive and long lasting an impact as possible in the 20 countries the programme was implemented.
Private charitable trusts and individual contributors played an important part in raising funds for International Inspiration as well as promoting its goals in the UK and abroad – ensuring the 12 million children reached goal is met and a precedent is set by London, for all future Olympic Games.
How it happened in Brazil:
‘It is better to get involved in volunteering rather than drugs on the streets. I encourage people to get involved in International Inspiration. It’s full of good experiences and can help you achieve your own goals’ – Cibele, 18
Considering that it’s Rio de Janeiro’s turn to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016 – an increased focus on the positive effect sport and physical education have on children has been more than welcome in Brazil. International Inspiration is particularly active in the country’s north-eastern region, inhabited by 13 million children with hardly any qualified PE teachers.
Since kicking off in 2007, the programme reached more than 700,000 Brazilian children – which persuaded the local authorities to launch Segundo Tempo – a national after-school scheme that involves pupils and students disadvantaged by poverty in sporting activities. This scheme is currently being implemented in London by the borough councils, according to the official website.
NGOs and the federal government have also made efforts to increase social inclusion through sport for children of needy background, recognizing the benefits of International Inspiration. By putting professionally trained PE teachers in the places where their expertise is required the most, this campaign managed to curb school drop-out rates in some areas of Brazil and help authorities tackle child labour.
Our agency is impressed by the success International Inspiration had in all 20 countries it activated in and would like to take this opportunity to spread the news in the hope of getting even more people involved with this humanitarian cause. We will follow up on this blog with detailed accounts of how International Inspiration touched children’s lives in other parts of the world, a country at a time.