Issue date: 20 October 2010
A community project supported by the University of the West of England has been shortlisted for a prestigious Times Higher Education award.
The RELAYS (Regional Educational Legacy for Art and Youth Sport) project
, which aims to inspire and upskill young people ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games, has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community Award in the Times Higher Education Supplement Awards 2010.
The University of the West of England is working in collaboration with 10 other universities and cultural partners, led by Universities South West, to help run and support a variety of festivals, events and activities designed to inspire and engage young people across the south west of England leading up to the London 2012 Games and beyond.
Past RELAYS successes in which UWE has been instrumental include:
•Organised five London 2012 business and HE engagement events in the West of England attended by 450 delegates from the private, public and third sectors.
•Helped local businesses investigate ways in which they can benefit from opportunities presented by 2012.
•Business Fellows based at the University of Exeter and the University of the West of England use their expertise to support businesses in making the most of these opportunities. These staff are supported by PhD students who explore ways in which sport and culture can have a positive impact on local communities.
Kim Chang, Sports Business Fellow at UWE, said, “Being shortlisted for the THE Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community Award is fantastic recognition for the project. It further highlights the importance of the need to work together across every sector within communities, to ensure that we take full advantage of London 2012 for the south west region.”
Half way through the project, more than 45,000 young people and almost 650 businesses have engaged in activities and125 events and festivals have been held attracting over 101,500 visitors from across the region and beyond and over 1780 volunteers have given up their time and expertise to make it all happen.
Leanne Dingle, Project Manager for RELAYS, said, “We are delighted that the inspirational work that RELAYS and the team have achieved is being recognised. This project is an amazing example of what can be achieved when our universities and partners, students and volunteers and the enthusiasm and talent of young people in the South West come together. RELAYS recognises that not everyone can be, or wants to be, the fastest runner or swimmer, but the events and activities that we run appeal to a wide range of abilities and tastes. As well as traditional sporting activities, graffiti art, dance, urban youth sports and culture may not have an obvious link to the 2012 Games, but they are true to the spirit of London 2012's Inspire programme where everyone is invited to take part and can join in. We are delighted that the Project has been awarded the Inspire Mark, making it part of London 2012's brand family.”
Seb Coe, Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said, “RELAYS is encouraging young people to fulfil their potential. I am proud that, with the help of such partners, we are delivering on our vision to use the power of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to boost participation in the arts and youth sport across the South West.”
RELAYS is led by Universities South West, through a network of regional universities and cultural organizations. It is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity that has been set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games and HEFCE (The Higher Education Funding Council for England).
The winners of the Times Higher Education Awards 2010 will be announced at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on Thursday 25 November.