2012 Olympic clubs

Who's with me?

3 messages
13/07/2005 at 17:30
It's been a while since I posted here but in light of the London 2012 success I wanted to put forward an idea for you guys to discuss.

I've been trying to figure out a way of actually being part of the 2012 Olympics other than just viewing the proceedings from my couch.

For starters, and despite living in Peterborough, I've already contacted the london2012.org site and requested a volunteers pack. Nothing like this has happened in my lifetime and may not again so I HAVE to make sure I'm there!

The idea I have is that of forming an Olympic club. The purpose would be to get its members into a sport by encouraging them to try all the different disciplines that will feature in 2012. For the youngsters, it could be like the Scouts where once you've sampled a sport or reached a certain standard, you will be rewarded with a badge.

Being 36 myself and a (portly) veteran of 4 London Marathons my Olympic dream has now sadly passed but I do harbour the ambition of maybe encouraging a youngster to take up a sport and help them find coaching and sponsorship funding that will lead them to participate in 2012. If everything else fails but we get one athlete to the games, this scheme I would judge to be a resounding success.

There are some other activities that may encourage participation like the walking tours in London of the Olympic sites. Not only would this be interesting and motivating there would be the health benefits of the walking.

I saw the overall concept broken up into 5 categories.

1 - The Motivators - The Olympic walks, talks from athletes, coaches and people like John McClure who is attempting 136 Olympic disciplines by the Beijing games in 2008 (http://ultimateolympian.blogspot.com)

2 - The Taster Sessions - Organised sessions where people can try out a particular sport.

3 - Competition - Once a sport has been chosen, encouraging participation in a local event.

4 - Club - The next stage would be to become a regular attendee at club level and to train regularly and compete in club competions.

5 - National - The athlete will now have specific traing programmes in place, coaching, sponsorship funding etc. as they strive for international selection.

Initially I saw this as a project for the city where I live but is there really any reason why this scheme couldn't be used in every city or town across the country? Who knows, an event could be staged in 2012 between different Olympic clubs.

I also see there being a website that would have the addresses of local sports clubs, national associations, beginners guides, training tips, nutritional information, event diary, sport specific forums etc. much like Runners World but for different sports. This would be a FABULOUS resource for would be competitors.

These may be lofty ideas and would require substantial effort from sports associations, coaches as well as the Olympic club members for it to be truly effective but what do we have to lose? Nothing.

We would have a helluva lot to gain though!

Any thoughts?
13/07/2005 at 19:39
Makes a lot of sense to me.

I think generally in this country we don't have a very good sports club setup, and even when there are clubs around, it's surprisingly hard to get information about them. You can't rely on schools to do more than a few sports, whereas when you look at the Olympics, countries like France and Germany pick up lots of medals in sports which we've just never thought of doing before, and a lot of it is because it's just easier to find good facilities and coaching in a wider variety of sports.

What's more, Olympic participation in some of these sports is a genuine prospect. I saw interviews on French TV with fencers who had only taken it up just 5 years previously.
14/07/2005 at 17:09
Thanks for that - I agree wholeheartedly.

Anyone else got a view?

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