Keeping the Olympic flame burning in Lincolnshire

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— Jon Grubb is the new chairman of Lincolnshire Sports Partnership. He grew up in Louth and returned to the county in 2005 to take the editor’s chair at the Lincolnshire Echo. He left in summer of 2011 to start his own PR company, Grubb Street Media. His is married and lives near Sleaford with his wife, two children and two dogs.

Few would deny that it has been a fantastic summer of sport. The number of people participating in or celebrating sport makes impressive reading.

More than 100,000 people, from toddlers to pensioners, lined the streets of Lincolnshire to watch the Olympic torch’s journey through our great county. Around 8,000 people cheered the torch at Yarborough Sports Ground and a further 20,000 enjoyed the Olympic-inspired party on the Brayford. A thousand children from schools across the county competed in the Lincolnshire School Games at the Lincoln Castle Academy in June.

The individual stories were no less impressive. Our 150 torch bearers had stories that inspired us all and our sixteen home-grown athletes who competed in the Games and Paralympic Games filled us with pride and brought home five medals. Lincolnshire even welcomed, hosted and supported the Egyptian Paralympic team as they battled their way to 15 medals including four golds.

But now the sun has set on a remarkable summer of sport its time to think about how we ensure that spirit is not lost.

Lincolnshire Sports Partnership is working hard to turn the rhetoric of legacy pledges into reality. Already the LSP is in the process of setting up an Egyptian Paralympic Team Trust Group to continue the link with the Egyptian Paralympic Team and sports clubs in Egypt, in the hope that this relationship can benefit the county culturally and economically as well as in a sporting arena.

The LSP’s Sportivate programme is giving young people aged between 14 and 25 the chance to receive six weeks’ coaching in a sport of their choice – from rowing in Boston to wheelchair basketball in Louth and baseball in Lincoln, to girl’s cricket in Sleaford.

The Sportmakers programme is helping people in the community set and run their own successful sports clubs and Jog Lincolnshire is an exciting new county wide project which aims to encourage people to be more active by jogging on a regular basis.

These are just a handful of examples of where the LSP is working hard to keep the legacy alive, but we will always need the help and support of people, organisations and businesses around Lincolnshire. There are many ways of helping with financial support, time or just attending events in your community. However big or small your involvement, every bit helps ensure London 2012 lives on — not just in our memory but in our lives.

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