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Community Games Keeping the Spirit of Olympic Legacy Alive

Published: 22nd July 2014 09:02

With the second anniversary of London 2012 fast approaching and the Commonwealth Games just about to commence, Community Games is showing the Olympic legacy lives on this summer by celebrating the volunteers and community ambassadors it inspired.

Gillian Payne receiving the baton from Jonathan SmithGillian Payne receiving the baton from Jonathan Smith

Community Games, an England wide project, are back in 2014 with sports and cultural activities happening across Somerset over the coming months. In addition to some great sport and cultural events, the programme will also be honouring a standout volunteer whose hard work has been keeping the London 2012 Olympic spirit alive in our local community.

Jonathan Smith from Burnham On Sea, the 2013 Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership's Shining Light, passed over his title to Gillian Payne from Brompton Regis at the Victoria Park Summer Fayre in Bridgwater. He handed over a specially commissioned Somerset willow baton made by local Wicked Willow worker Jules Doncaster from Dulverton.

Gillian said "I became involved 3 years ago in Community Games. They are wonderful events. Living as I do in this remote area of Exmoor by the beautiful lake of Wimbleball, it is very important to get people of the local community young and old to come together for such activities. I feel very honoured to be Somerset's Shining Light for Community Games". Gillian is once again organising an event at Wimbleball Lake on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25th.

Jan Ross, Community Games Coordinator for Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership says: "We have had another good response in 2014 from local groups wanting to keep the spirit of London 2012 alive and we are building on the success of over 40 different Community Games which happened last year across Somerset".

And none of this would be possible without the enthusiasm and energy of the local volunteers who make these sports and cultural events happen.

Back in 2012, the Olympic and Paralympic Games paid tribute to torchbearers across the country. One year later, Community Games mirrored this spirit by recreating the 70-day torch relay and each day crowned standout Community Games volunteers as Shining Lights at every location on the trail. This culminated in Lord Coe being named as the 70th Shining Light at the Copper Box Arena on the one year anniversary of London 2012. In 2014, the 2013 Shining Lights are handing over the baton to successors in special celebratory events scheduled around the country this summer.

Lord Coe says: "Games Makers had an important role in the success of London 2012. In fact volunteers have been integral to the success of the Olympic Games since they were first used in 1948. The Community Games Shining Lights bring this Olympic and Paralympic ethos into our everyday lives by organising great activities for our families, friends and neighbours to enjoy, whilst simultaneously encouraging them to be more active. These volunteers truly deserve this recognition."

Community Games is an Olympic and Paralympic Games legacy programme funded by the Social Action Fund and delivered by the County Sports Partnership Network (CSPN) and the YMCA. Both organisations share Lord Coe's value of volunteering and the difference they make in communities.

For more information on Community Games visit www.communitygames.org.uk


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