For many, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games may still seem like a long time away. This month however, it is just over 900 days to go until we welcome the world to the UK and the start of the 30th Olympiad will begin.
Ofcourse every host city has always benefited most from this once in a life time opportunity, but there are numerous opportunities for nations and regions across the UK to get involved and be part of the two greatest sporting events in the world.
Much has been made about the opportunity to host pre-games training and holding camps (PGTC's) in the lead up to London 2012. LOCOG themselves have given this area huge profile in terms of how nations and regions outside of london can be part of 2012 and benefit from hosting training camps.
Whilst this is a possible and will generate huge profile and pr, from our research we have found the reality of attracting PGTC's will be quite different for most Cities across the UK. The evidence regarding the economic impact of PGTC's is not there. A number of NOC's and thier sports have basis already. A number will not need camps or be able to afford them, despite LOCOG's generous grant and a number, probably the most sought after NOC's in terms of profile will cost you an absolute fortune.
Our vision to engage in London 2012, goes much further than to just secure a training camp. We want to provide everyone with their own Olympic Moment, unitiing our local communities with the inspiration of the games and the British passion for sport.
Schools, sports clubs, businesses, local authorities, tourism agencies, the cultural sector, all have a huge opportunity to engage in the 2012 Games if they choose too, through numerous programmes such as Get Set, Compete For, Open Weekend the Torch Relay and being awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark accreditation.
Currently we are managing over 20 projects to make the 2012 Games come alive for our sub-region, engaging on three major levels (local, regional and national) as detailed in the Get Involved section on this website.
Our Festival of Sport project focuses on providing a fun expereince of Olympic and Paralympic sport to year 6, 7 and 8 school children, informing them of the Olympic values and encouraging them to the best they can be.
There are many ways individuals or organisations can be part of London 2012. The questions is, how do you want to be involved? and what will be your 2012 moment? With two and a half years to go, it's not too late to engage and be inspired by London 2012. Leave it much longer however, and the two greatest sporting events in the world will pass you by. Don't miss out.
Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Manager, 2012 Games