Sainsbury's Launches 1 Million Kids Challenge

12 Apr 2011 By IPC

To mark 500 days until the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games, Sainsbury's, Official Partner of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, has launched its 1 Million Kids Challenge. The Challenge aims to encourage 1 million children from across the UK to get a taste of the excitement of the Games by trying out a Paralympic Sport.

Sainsbury's also announced its Paralympic Legacy Fund, an initiative that will support Paralympic athletes as well as promoting healthier and more active lifestyles for children of all abilities in the run up to London 2012 and beyond.

Through its Paralympic Games partnership and commitment to promote a healthy, fitter lifestyle across all ages and abilities, Sainsbury's aims to make Paralympic sports more accessible by supplying free sports equipment to schools so children can give Paralympic sports a try for the first time.

To launch the initiative LOCOG Chair Seb Coe, Sainsbury's CEO Justin King, Paralympic gold medalist, London 2012 hopeful Ellie Simmonds MBE, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt MP and BPA Vice-Chair Ann Cutcliffe joined London children to sample Paralympic sports such as sitting volleyball, goalball and visually impaired football at Lee Valley Athletics Centre. The schools taking part in the event were all members of the Get Set network, London 2012's reward and recognition scheme for schools and colleges.

All of the schools participating in the Sainsbury's 1 Million Kids Challenge will be eligible for additional rewards and benefits, such as access to London 2012 Ticketshare tickets and visits from athletes by joining the Get Set network, London 2012's reward and recognition scheme for schools and colleges across the UK.

In addition to the 1 Million Kids Challenge, anyone who is interested in trying out a Paralympic Sport can contact Parasport, an organization which has been established to make it easier for the public to learn about and participate in these sports in their local communities.

In conjunction with the BPA, Sainsbury's has also set up a Paralympic Legacy Fund which will support Paralympic athletes at the Paralympic Games and beyond. The first initiative around the fund is the launch of a freshly designed Paralympic Games shopping bag, which is available in Sainsbury's stores, with profits from the sales of the bag going to the fund.

Justin King, Sainsbury's CEO said: "As part of the continued commitment to promoting a healthy, active lifestyle, we are delighted to launch the 1 Million Kids Challenge, an initiative that will give children from communities all over the UK the chance to try a Paralympic Sport ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

"To demonstrate our commitment to supporting Paralympic Sport in 2012 and beyond, we have also developed the Sainsbury's Paralympic Legacy Fund to help create long term support for grass root disability sport in the UK."

LOCOG Chair Seb Coe said: "The 1 Million Kids Challenge is just one of many initiatives by Sainsbury's which will help us to promote the London 2012 Paralympic Games to the public. With just over 500 days to go till the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the support across the UK is incredible and Sainsbury's is a much valued stand-alone partner of the Paralympic Movement."

Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said: "This exciting event is a fantastic example of how Paralympic sports can be incorporated into every UK school and the Sainsbury's 1 Million Kids Challenge is the perfect platform to help children realize their sports potential."

BPA Vice-Chair Ann Cutcliffe said: "The BPA is delighted to have the chance to showcase some of the exciting Paralympic sports on offer at London 2012, and it is great to see so many children giving them a go. Sainsbury's sponsor both the Games and the Paralympics GB team. Working with them continues to give us a powerful public platform to promote the team and the chance to leave a powerful legacy in communities right across the UK."

Ellie Simmonds MBE, Paralympic gold medallist and London 2012 hopeful, said: "I am so excited to see so many kids giving Paralympic sports a go today and getting involved in the Sainsbury's 1 Million Kids Challenge. Sport is not only fun but also a great way to get fit. Sainsbury's is the perfect partner to get the nation involved in the Paralympic Games."