I love the Olympics. I found myself watching anything and everything, completely engrossed by sports I wouldn’t normally watch. I love the atmosphere of the Olympics and the way 99% of the athletes enter into the spirit of the games.
One of the tag lines of London 2012 was “Inspire a generation”. I didn’t feel particularly sporty whilst the games were on, there was no time to be active as I was far too busy sitting on the sofa watching the games. When I hear “Inspire a generation” I think of children and young people being inspired by the athletes competing in the games, being introduced to sports that they may never have come across and maybe finding opportunities they didn’t know were there. It will take sometime to see the true legacy of London 2012, I hope that the young people for Britain have been inspired and we’ll see the results of this in the future (in the mean time I’m sure British cycling’s success will boosted the sales of junior road bikes across the country).
LOCOG isn’t the only organisation that is inspiring a generation. Last week I was visiting Practical Action’s projects all around Kenya and visited Nakuru. In Nakuru we are changing a community by inspiring a generation.
One of the biggest challenges in Nakuru is basic sanitation and ensuring people link poor sanitation with poor health. Practical Action are working with the schools in the area to ensure they are able to offer their students basic sanitation – enough toilets. The recognised ratio of toilets to ensure basic sanitary needs are met are one toilet for every 30 boys or 25 girls, before Practical Action were working with the schools some had only one toilet for 100 students. This would mean that pupils could spend their entire break queueing for a toilet, just to be called back in to class before they’d had a chance to use it. Practical Action is also educating the students of the need for basic sanitation. Through better education the children learnt improved sanitation, raising their personal hygiene standards. Once the children knew the importance of proper sanitation they would raise the standards in their homes and so inadvertently teach their families. Every student suddenly becomes a sanitation ambassador in their family. So by teaching the younger generation the entire community will learn. That’s inspiring a generation.