Cultural Olympiad to Celebrate Local Sport

Sporting organisations in Hertfordshire are being given an opportunity to come together to showcase and celebrate what they do, as part of the Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020.

HYOC2020 will be built around themed months – with July 2020 designated as Cultural Olympiad month – to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP) – together with the county’s 10 district and borough councils – is organising a Celebration of Hertfordshire Sport on Saturday 18th July 2020, as its contribution to the Cultural Olympiad programme.

The event which is being held at the impressive indoor and outdoor facilities at the Hertfordshire Sports Village, Hatfield, is being made available to all Hertfordshire based organisations interested in showcasing their work or looking for a free facility to run their event, which might be a county competition, charity support programme or even an awareness event.

Pro-Action Hertfordshire – the umbrella body for clubs and organisations for young people – has confirmed that it will be delivering its highly regarded YAMA (Youth, Arts, Music, Activities) Festival, as part of the day-long programme and early discussions are underway with a number of organisations including National Governing Bodies of Sport and Sport for Development Groups, who are interested in getting involved.

A wheelchair basketball tournament – under the auspices of the Hertfordshire Disability Sport Foundation – is another event that has been mooted.

The idea is to create a vibrant sporting spectacle to celebrate and showcase all that is good about sport in Hertfordshire. Participating organisations will be able to access, free of charge, sports halls, all weather pitches, lecture theatres, classrooms and even a 400-seater theatre space, to deliver their events.

Some of those programmes will be for older adults and others for children and young people, and those organisations that are selected to be part of the day, will also benefit from comprehensive marketing support, and commemorative medals.

The organisers are particularly interested in hearing from organisations with current or potential county-wide coverage, and those which target individuals or groups that may be currently inactive or disadvantaged.

The Celebration of Hertfordshire Sport event will also feature a Spirit of 2012 lunch which will bring together those with a connection to Hertfordshire, who participated at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as participants, coaches, officials, Games Makers and Torch Bearers.

In welcoming the event, HSP Partnership Director, John O’Callaghan said:

“Hertfordshire has a vibrant community sports scene and a rich heritage and proud track record of producing a raft of high-profile elite performers.

“Moreover, sport is a key element of the local cultural offer and it is only right and proper that the sport sector embraces the opportunities that the Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020 will bring with it. We hope that our celebration of sport in Hertfordshire – including the Spirit of 2012 lunch – will further enhance the county’s reputation for its sporting offer and will act as a catalyst to get more people, more active, more often.

“Involvement in sport is not only a great way to enhance your health and wellbeing but is a powerful vehicle in bringing together communities and individuals from different backgrounds, for improved community cohesion.

“We are looking forward to working with a range of partners in ensuring that the occasion will celebrate and reach out to some of those not currently involved, and demonstrate how sport can be inclusive, non-judgemental and can create environments where winning isn’t the only thing.

“I would urge all and any organisations that share our aspirations for this event and can use the day to promote their own objectives, to make contact and let us know how we can work together.”

For further details for how to get involved and to request an Expression of Interest form, please contact Kelly Fagan at k.fagan@herts.ac.uk.

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