Be a Warwickshire Olympian

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WITH a year to go until the Olympics 2012, young people from Warwickshire schools, youth groups, and sports teams are invited to go for gold with a charity challenge.

Warwickshire County Council is supporting the Gold Challenge, a chance to try different Olympic sports and raise money for locally based Heart Rhythm Charity - Arrhythmia Alliance at the same time.

The Gold Challenge is organised in partnership with the British Olympics Association, Paralympics GB and Sport England. Programme participants are sponsored to undertake a minimum of three hours’ training in at least five Olympic or Paralympic sports, or to complete an endurance event.

The challenge needs to be completed by December 31 2012.

Getting involved is easy, for further information and to register email gold@heartrhythmcharity.org.uk or call 01789

450787 and a representative will get in touch to support your registration and help you with your team’s challenge.

Team will be required to commit to a minimum of 15 hours of sport by 31 December 2012.

Schools and youth groups can also add their own twists to the challenge. Inter-school tournaments with teams competing with one another or setting fundraising targets are good ways to get more out of the programme. Groups may also want to consider team or individual awards based on athletes’ performance, attitude or dedication.

Warwickshire County Councillor Heather Timms, portfolio holder for children, young people and families, said: “Gold Challenge will give teams of youngsters the chance to challenge themselves in multiple sports, while raising money for charity. It’s a unique opportunity to be part of the Olympic excitement, and to try something new.

“The ethos of the challenge, which is open to everyone at all ability levels, supports the county’s healthy school agenda and our commitment to help each young person make positive contribution.”

Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council and portfolio holder for health, Cllr Bob Stevens, added: “We are proud to support this scheme which will inspire Olympics spirit, improve health and fitness, and get Warwickshire young people involved throughout the build up to London 2012 and beyond.

“The Heart Rhythm Charity - Arrhythmia Alliance is offering free registration for the first 100 teams who register and will be able to offer fundraising tips and educational support throughout the challenge. We hope schools and youth groups will sign up and support this great cause.”

Trudie Lobban MBE, founder of Arrhythmia Alliance, said, “The Heart Rhythm Charity Arrhythmia Alliance is a home grown Warwickshire based charity and we are very proud to be delivering the Schools Olympic initiative for Warwickshire County Council.

“The Olympic Games is the world’s foremost sports competition and to be able to involve the children across the county in a healthy sports activity is amazing.

“The Heart Rhythm Charity is focused on raising awareness through education programmes in schools specialising in paediatric literature, lesson plans, media resources and practical life-saving skills. This is truly an Olympic legacy for the next generation!”