Calls for people in Norfolk to get fit for London 2012
While Norfolk's Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls are already in the thick of preparations for next year's global sporting event, people across the county are being urged to pledge to get active and healthy in the run-up to the Games.
Active Norfolk's Pledge 2012 calls on people to make a personal commitment which can be anything from running 5k or doing more activities with the family to becoming a coach for young people or organising a community sporting event.
Everyone who makes a pledge will be given support to help them achieve their goal. They will also see their face become part of Norfolk's giant 2012 Flag which will be unveiled ahead of the Games next year.
It is hoped the initiative will not only inspire people to get fit and healthy as part of the global sporting event but for many years to come.
Laurie Hull, director of Active Norfolk, said: 'Pledge 2012 is a great project which will open up opportunities for people to get involved with a personal challenge against the back drop of the Olympics.
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'Few people will be able to be directly involved in the Olympics as a performer or volunteer but Pledge 2012 is open to everyone who can make a commitment, whether big or small, that will make a difference to them and their families and let them feel part of the Games.'
Pledge 2012, which has been awarded the Inspire Mark by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), is being run in association with Norfolk County Council, NHS Norfolk with support from media partners the Eastern Daily Press and BBC Radio Norfolk.
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As part of the initiative, a variety of packs aimed at all age groups have been created to support participants to reach their goals.
These packs include information on families can get fit together, information and advice for anyone over 50, details on accessible sports and clubs and guidance on how to become a coach or volunteer.
James Carswell, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for cultural services, said: 'The London 2012 Olympics will ensure there is huge interest in sport next year and we really want to capture that interest and use it to bring about some real legacy benefits in Norfolk.
'Pledge 2012 is a great initiative that will get Norfolk residents out and about and active – with many bringing benefits to their community, as well as themselves.
'Whether benefiting the individual's health from doing more sport, or getting someone to fulfil their ambition of becoming a coach and therefore helping many others to get involved in sport, we can create a real sporting and health legacy for the county long beyond 2012.
'And all this will be documented by on our 2012 Flag – highlighting everyone that is signed up to Pledge 2012 and who is bringing benefit to either themselves or others off the back of the Olympic Games.'
The flag will be unveiled on the pitch at Norwich City's football ground at Carrow Road in early June. It will then go on prominent display around the county in the lead up to the Olympic and Paralympics Games in July 2012.
Former Norwich City footballer Craig Fleming, who helped launch the initiative yesterday, said: 'With the Olympics approaching, what better time to get sporty or do something worthwhile for your community. There are so many different ways you can get involved in Pledge 2012 and it's a great way to way to get your new health regime off the starting blocks.'