24.Aug.12 Birmingham Network inspires athletes at Live Site
The Live Olympic Site in Birmingham's Victoria Square was transformed into a Live Site between 30th July and 3rd August 2012 - with seating, bunting and a marquee - making it the place to go to gather and watch live coverage of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Throughout the Olympic fortnight the Live Site was showing live sport from 7am to 11pm every day. The Live Site also had a range of arts events and performances inspired by the Games. In addition and as a part of the ‘legacy’ programme a 50m running track was located in the Square at the top of New Street, next to the Town Hall and the Council House.
BaN athletes and coaches attended each day to promote athletics across the City. Hundreds of boys, girls and parents took up the challenge to see who was the fastest to cover the marked 40m strip. On completion of the run every boy and girl was given a flag of Jamaica, the USA or the Union Jack. In addition BaN and Startrack fliers were handed out to all participants to encourage them to get in touch with their local athletics club.
BaN Steering Group members Andy Paul (Birchfield Harriers) and Megan Evans of Royal Sutton Coldfield Athletics Club paid a visit to the site to lend their support. Megan arrived with a squad of athletes and fellow coaches who took the opportunity to arrange a training session on the track. in the top photo we see the boys and girls discussing sprint starts prior to some fast times.
The BaN coordinator was on site each day to offer advice on sprinting and to provide more information about the Athletics Clubs across the City. The square was extremely busy and even the great man himself, Usain Bolt, was there to check out the opposition (sadly it was just his wicker body double).
The atmosphere was tremendous and as this event coincided with the Jamaica in the Square festivities a carnival atmosphere was guaranteed. Green and gold mixed with the red and white of the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack made the square a kaleidoscope of colour.
Great Britain International 400m runner, Jarryd Dunn, was also on hand to chat with youngsters and parents and gave them the benefit of his experience. "I started athletics when I was ten after taking part in a Startrack programme which was run by my local club. It’s a great way to get fit, meet new friends and even get to see the Country and now that I am an international athlete I get to see the World."
BaN Coordinator Keith Holt summarised, "Special thanks must go to the City and Bryn Lewis for pulling this event together. With so many youngsters enjoying the opportunity of running on an athletics track I am sure the BaN Clubs and the City can expect to see a big up take in Athletics. If only 1% of the youngsters that took part are inspired to take up athletics it will all have been worth it."
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