Friday, 17 August 2012

Inspire a Generation

I’ve been rather surprised that all the talk following the Olympics on the “Inspire a Generation” theme has been about sport. While the sporting message is significant, I think the Inspire... idea has a much wider meaning. What we saw with the Olympics was people who have set their sights high, have worked very hard for four, eight or even more years, and have achieved their best. Tom Daley's celebration after 'only' winning a bronze epitomised this. 

The other significant legacy relates to the volunteers – the Games Makers. They received very positive publicity and have obviously made a big difference to the success of the games. Again, there’s inspiration in this. Not that we don’t all volunteer a lot at the moment – but how visible is our volunteering? How well managed? And I’m sure there are people who are inspired by the success of the Games Makers to want to have a go at something themselves.

So, inspired by these aspects of the games, I’ve started thinking about some ideas to build on these ideas. The first is to put some focus on volunteering. Should we try to identify local volunteers in some way? Something like ‘Missenden Makers’? And what about a simple badge or uniform? Nothing as elaborate as the games uniform but something to make them stand out. And what about training and management? The Olympic volunteers were clearly managed very well. We typically give a sigh of relief that someone has stepped up to a role and let them get on with it!

Then there’s the the whole achieving game. I do lots with youngsters and will certainly be using the model of the athletes to prompt them into positive action. The autumn school term will be starting soon and with it another year of Young Enterprise. This is a great opportunity to build on the Olympics achievements and get the students to think about what they want to achieve and work hard to succeed. I wonder if I could get Tom Daley along to talk to them.