Paralympic fencing star Craig McCann has been providing inspiration to youngsters in Scarborough at a Sportivate project this month.
This project is one of the key initiatives to create a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.
Sportivate is the £56 million National Lottery funded Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative that gives 11 to 25-year-olds who aren’t particularly sporty six to eight weeks’ free coaching in a new sport and then helps them find low costs ways to continue to play.
McCann is a passionate sportsman, proficient in many different sports, but his highlight has been to represent GB in the London 2012 Paralympics in the sport of fencing, just two years after taking up the sport.
His talent for the sport was discovered when he attended a ‘Paralympic Potential’ session in 2010.
He is visiting a Sportivate boccia project in his capacity as a Sport England Sporting Champion.
The two remaining sessions will take place at Yorkshire Coast College Sports Hall on December 9 and 16 between 4.15pm and 5.45pm, as part of Scarboccia, funded through the Sport England Sprotivate initiative.
The fencing star is excited about attending so that he can help the young people participating raise their own aspirations.
McCann, speaking before Tuesday’s first session, said: “I’m really looking forward to this exciting Sportivate project in Scarborough”.
“I cannot wait to help them get them into sport and share my experience of proudly representing GB at the London 2012 Paralympic Games”.
“Sportivate is a fantastic way of getting young people into sport and that is something I am really passionate about.
“I believe that as a Sport England Sporting Champion, I can inspire everyone in attendance to raise their aspirations of what they can achieve and motivate them to be the very best versions of themselves that they can be.”
Jayne Molyneux, the Strategic Lead for Youth at Sport England, said: “It is great to see Craig helping inspire young people taking part in Sportivate to carry on participating in a sport they may have never tried before.
“Our Sportivate programme is all about listening to young people and putting on taster sessions in a sport of their choice to help them make the step into community sport and set them on the path to creating a sporting habit for life.”
Recent figures published in April 2014 have revealed that Sportivate has retained 357,789 young people and therefore exceeded its four-year target a year early.