May 23 2013 Latest news:
Sarah Shaffi, Olympics editor (news)
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
World famous photographer Rankin has teamed up with Olympic chief Seb Coe for an exhibition about the legacy of London 2012.
Inspired by Sport, which opens to the public tomorrow, is an exhibition of photos taken by Rankin of Olympians and Paralympians, as well as hopefuls.
There are also images from international photographers showing young people in countries including Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan playing sport.
The exhibition highlights the work of International Inspiration, London 2012’s international sports legacy programme.
The scheme is a partnership between UNICEF, the British Council and UK Sport and fulfils a promise made by the London 2012 bid team to encourage children across the world to play sport.
Photographs by Rankin are of athletes including Seb Coe, Denise Lewis, Colin Jackson, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Louise Hazel and James Ellington.
Speaking to London24 Lord Coe said: “We said we wanted to transform east London and we did. We said we wanted to leave venues in that part of London, and we have done that.
“We wanted to inspire more young people and we have done that.
“We didn’t want this to be one-dimensional and domestic. London is home to 300 different communities and I felt with London’s global reach we had a responsibility to try and inspire young kids around the world.”
London 2012’s legacy promise was to enrich the lives of 12million children in 20 countries in time for this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, a double-feat the programme achieved in February this year.
Lord Coe, who is chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), will officially open the exhibition at the Museum of London tonight.
He said he had been inspired by a number of people who helped him to sporting success, and that he was still being inspired today.
Lord Coe said: “I was inspired by the teachers, by my father, by volunteers who gave up their time to coach me. I am surrounded by volunteers and inspirational figures.
“I am also inspired by the people who came before me in my sport, whose images I saw.
“Everyday I am inspired by something. On this particular project I was in Tanzania watching young people being involved with sport and that was inspiring.
“There are inspiring stories and you can’t help but be moved, for example when you see a young person living rough in Delhi who gets a few hours each week to enjoy themselves by playing sport.”
International Inspiration aimed to teach young people skills and to help them enrich their lives through sport.
Lord Coe said: “Sport cannot make things worse. If we have got young people living in difficult circumstances sport can be the anchor points in their weekly lives.
“Sport is a social worker, it does help.
“It touches communities in a way politicians can’t always do.”
Among the young people pictured in the exhibition is 17-year-old Antonnecier James, known as Kim, from Trinidad and Tobago.
She is in the UK for the launch of the exhibition and told London 24: “It has been the experience of my lifetime.
“I enjoy all sports but I am really interested in athletics and football. I hope to compete in the 2016 Olympics, in 100m and 200m.”
Machindo Mwameazi goes to St Paul’s Academy in Greenwich, which is twinned with a school in Mozambique. He is a sports ambassador and through the International Inspiration programme helped teach younger pupils at the school a traditional game from Mozambique.
The 15-year-old, who harbours dreams of playing professionally for Arsenal FC and representing England, said: “International Inspiration has given me teamwork and confidence skills, and given me the confidence to speak out loud.
“Before I was so confident.
“It has helped me and made me acknowledge the fact that there are other areas and opportunities through sport.”
Inspired by Sport is at the Museum of London, London Wall, from May 2 to May 13. Entry is free.