Olympian launches campaign to help people in West Norfolk get into sport

Olympian Paul Evans held aloft the 1948 Olympic torch today to launch a campaign which aims to inspire West Norfolk residents to take part in regular activity in the build up to next year's Games.

The former long-distance runner kicked off the Let's Get Active 2012 campaign at Hunstanton Town Hall at 10am before sharing his coaching skills with the next generation of Olympic hopefuls from nearby Smithdon High School.

The Let's Get Active committee is currently working with communities across the borough to offer Olympic-inspired events throughout 2012 including a tour involving the 1948 Olympic Torch next June.

The West Norfolk Sports Council is championing the tour which will see the torch carried into more than 80 villages ahead of the London Olympics.

Mr Evans, who competed at the 1992 and the 1996 Olympic Games, said: 'Whenever I turn on the TV there are always people talking about obesity levels and young people being unfit so it's great to see campaigns like this trying to combat that.

'It's a great idea to attach the Olympics to the campaign because it's a great vehicle in encouraging people to get out and do as much activity as they can.

'It's not long until the Olympics now and it won't be long before people will be out trying to mirror what the Olympic athletes will be doing in London.

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'Hopefully these people will get the bug to continue taking part in sport following these Olympics, join a club and hopefully carry on playing sport for the rest of their lives.'

Deputy mayor for West Norfolk Elizabeth Watson, Hunstanton mayor Carol Bowers, and West Norfolk Sports Council relay event co-ordinator, Paul Brandon, also gathered to mark the occasion.

Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk council cabinet member, added: 'The Let's Get Active 2012 campaign will showcase the many fun and exciting ways people can celebrate the Olympics.

'As well as marking this momentous year, we want there to be a lasting legacy here in West Norfolk and hope that people will use the events to find out about new ways to get active in the borough this year and into the future.'

Mr Brandon added: 'Villages that I've spoken to about the 1948 torch tour around the borough have been really enthusiastic.

'Many villages are making exciting plans for when the torch passes through. Downham Market is having the torch lead their annual carnival and RAF Marham is exploring unique possibilities.

'I'm sure the whole weekend will be an enjoyable and memorable occasion for all the communities involved.'

The year of activity will begin on January 1, 2012 with the Resolution Ramble - a five-mile walk along the coast from Hunstanton to Heacham and back again. Entry is free.

The ramble is being organised by Hunstanton Town Council for more information visit www.letsgetactive.org.uk or call 01485 532189.

Look out for the next edition of London Calling, a free monthly guide to the games, which will appear in the EDP on Tuesday, November 29.

To see previous Olympic-related stories click on the London Calling logo on the top of theis page.