Grassroots Olympic Challenge kicks off

On Friday night, 27million of us tuned in on TV to watch Danny Boyle’s spectacular Opening Ceremony put togeher by 15,000 volunteers from all over the UK. Long before the official games got underway however, we launched our own grassroots sporting campaign right here at Stanwick Lakes – inviting you to paddle a kayak around the lake, cycle, jog, walk or skip the Stanwick Lakes mile, scramble over the assault course and explore our adventure trail.

On Friday afternoon I caught up with local lad Jake Cross, who had just completed the kayaking section of the Olympic Trail – just one of 5 exciting family activities laid on to celebrate the Games. As he recaptured his breath he told me “Today’s been really fun so far, I’ve been canoeing all around the lake here which is especially nice to do when it’s hot like this”. Jake was accompanied by his mum Michelle who added “It’s a great and cheap day-out and my son loves it”.

The Canoe and Kayak Slalom at the Lee Valley White Water Centre was watched by 12,000

On Sunday I was lucky enough to attend the opening heat of the Canoe and Kayak Slalom to cheer on gold medal hopeful David Florence as he progressed into the Men’s C1 Semi-Finals. What struck me about this exhillerating occasion was the number of athlete’s from around the world that had experienced an Olympic Games first hand in their home country before taking it up. With our own Olympic Challenge serving up a range of sports taking place at London 2012, we’re hoping to inspire a new generation of athletes to get involved in grassroots sport in their local area.

As you complete the activities you just punch the Olympic rings on your ‘Olympic Challenge Passport’ (available from the Visitor Centre Reception) with the special hole punches currently dotted around the site. Then once you’ve run out of steam, simply take your leaflet to the Rangers’ Cabin between 12 noon and 5pm to be awarded with your medal. We’ve handed out over 100 medals already so what are you waiting for, give the TV a break and get out there!!

Why not use the comment bar below to share your ideas for embracing the Olympic spirit this summer?

– James