Turn up, take part, join in

WHILST Great Britain is still in the throes of Olympic fever, residents in Battle and Rye are being encouraged to try a new sport.

Greg Barker, MP for the Bexhill and Battle Constituency, has called on local sports clubs to sign up for a new project designed to get hundreds of thousands of people across the UK to join in local sport during a weekend that will give an Olympic and Paralympic boost to sports clubs across the whole of the UK.

The ‘Join In Weekend’ has been established with the specific aim of getting as many people as possible who have been inspired by London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to turn up, take part and join in at their local sports facilities on August 18-19 - the first weekend between the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Local sports groups are being encouraged to take advantage of the scheme, creating a shop window within their community for the opportunities there are for people inspired by the Games to help out, give time, support, watch or play sport.

It is hoped the Join In Weekend will capture the enthusiasm generated by the London Olympics and bring it back to the place it begins for all great champions – their local sports facilities.

Mr Barker said: “Every great champion started at their local sports facilities.

“I want to make sure that the local clubs here in Bexhill and Battle make the most of the once in a lifetime opportunity the games provides to get local people involved in whatever capacity, whether as players or coaches, drivers or tea makers.

“The Join In Weekend is a great platform for clubs to harness the enthusiasm London 2012 and make sure they get the local community engaged.

“I hope clubs here in Bexhill and Battle will sign up at www.joininuk.org and really enjoy the opportunity of August 18/19.”

A number of clubs in the Rother and Hastings area have already registered, offering sports including athletics, canoeing, netball and angling.

London 2012 has welcomed the work that Join In Local Sport is doing.

Lord Seb Coe, chair of London 2012, said: “We are really happy to support the Join In project, it is a great idea that means that thousands of people across the UK can turn up and take part in local sports just after the Olympic Games finishes.

“Millions will be inspired by what they witness over the summer and I hope this creates opportunities in every community for people to join in their local sports clubs.”

Join In Local Sport is a not-for-profit company, initially funded by a government grant.