London 2012 legacy starts to take shape at Edge Hill University
19 September 2012
Sporting experts at Edge Hill University are already helping to build a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games in communities across the world.
The University was one of only three institutions in the north-west chosen to deliver the pre-Games training camps for teams from the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, American Samoa and Palau.
As a result of the initiative, new links have been forged with these communities and the athletes will be sharing the skills they have learned during their time in the UK.
In addition, the University has also contributed to the Oceania Sport Education Program Framework Review Group, which put forward a strategy to help build sport capacity in these countries and develop their curriculum. It has now been adopted by all 15 Oceania states.
Dr Tony Charlton, Associate Head of Sports Development and Sports Studies at the University who co-ordinated the project, said: "When I first visited them on a fact-finding mission it was sad to see rugby players barefoot trying to compete, and school sports day was completely different to ours. I knew I wanted to do something to make a difference and when I was asked to join the review group I jumped at the chance.
"It's fantastic that these countries want to work with us on the development of their national sports structure. Not only have we been able to assist the development of the athletes and the coaches to achieve their personal best performance in the London 2012 Olympics but it will allow us to carry on this work even further.
"With our input, it will help them develop a successful sports system that provides inspiration and opportunity for young people to develop skills from the grass roots level all the way through to elite sport."
The Oceania Sport Education Programme will help develop their capacity in the areas of coach education, sport development and volunteering, particularly at grassroots and community level.
Dr Charlton is also eager for the University's students to benefit from the initiative.
He said: "During the pre-Games training camps on campus, the students had an invaluable opportunity to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some of the Sports Therapy students were able to operate weekly clinics for the athletes, and others volunteered in other areas, helping with training or simply including them in cultural activities. This work has really benefited them and it will look great on their CVs when applying for jobs. But what I'd really like to see is for this lasting legacy to be taken even further with the opportunity of developing student exchange placements."
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