Over GBP 2 million committed to London 2017 Inspiration Programme

‘Team Personal Best’ to deliver a programme of local community level activities 24 Jan 2017
A general view of the Olympic Stadium at the London 2012 Olympic Park.

Many of the athletes heading to Nottwil 2017 have just been competing in the World Championships in London.

ⒸJamie McDonald / Getty Images
By London 2017

London 2017 Ltd announced on Tuesday (24 January) how the Inspiration Programme will have a lasting impact on sport and community.

‘Team Personal Best’ will inspire a programme of local community activities designed to get people who are encouraged by London’s role as host to become involved in grassroots athletics.

Investment will be in five key areas – disability, volunteering, schools, community and international – with the aim of removing barriers and growing capacity for increased interest.

Those wishing to either host an event or attend an event can register their interest in Team Personal Best now at www.TeamPersonalBest.org.

With the World Para Athletics Championships taking place 14-23 July and IAAF World Championships London 2017 taking place 4-13 August, organisers and partners have already secured GBP 2 million of investment towards the Programme.

One of the partners, England Athletics, will be in receipt of GBP 900,000 from the Spirit of 2012 over the next three years. The funding was awarded in response to research commissioned by Spirit of 2012 and conducted by England Athletics and is for the purpose of delivering the volunteer programmes on behalf of the 2017 Inspiration Board, aiming to increase the number, diversity and skillsets of athletics volunteers.

The grant will secure the delivery of 200 athletics open days manned by volunteers during major events and will lead to increased capacity for athletics participants at club level. Part of the Programme’s focus will also be on recruiting disabled volunteers and on enhancing the experience of the existing volunteers and officials in athletics.

Baroness Jowell, Chair of the Inspiration group, commented: “I am passionate about sport and the power it has to change lives. Team Personal Best will give communities across the country the opportunity to get involved in 2017 and celebrate in the way that best works locally.”

Debbie Lye, Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012, explained "This research confirms what other Spirit projects are demonstrating – that volunteering plays a crucial role in making things happen. When it is well organised with care taken to train, reward and recognise volunteers it also improves people's skills and the wellbeing of both volunteers themselves and the people they support. We saw that during London 2012, we're seeing it again now in Hull where we’re supporting the 2017 City of Culture Volunteer Programme, and we look forward to helping drive a positive shift in Athletics volunteering."

Niels de Vos, Championship Director of London 2017 Ltd, welcomed the investment in volunteering: “You only have to look at the record applications for our Runners volunteering programme to see the people are passionate about supporting athletics. It’ll be exciting to see our sport harness the interest in the Summer of World Athletics to better support grassroots athletics.”

Other funding partners confirmed so far for Team Personal Best include Sport England, the GLA, UK Athletics, UK Sport, England Athletics and London 2017 Ltd.

Team Personal Best activities will go live for community organisations in March 2017.