Longridge gets into Olympic spirit

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AMBItious plans for a major family sporting event in Longridge have been revealed as the town aims to capitalise on interest in the 2012 London Olympics.

For two weeks in July, sport clubs across Longridge and neighbouring areas will bring official Olympic sports to the doorsteps of Longridge residents, and introduce new activities like Zumba.

The Twenty-Twelve event, being organised in conjunction with Ribble Valley Borough Council, will be made up of 20 different sporting activities, taking place over 12 consecutive days, and will link-up to other sporting events set to be held over the course of the year.

Around 2,000 sports enthusiasts will get the chance to experience free taster sessions in a bid to inspire people, of all ages, to take up new sporting pastimes, and get Longridge involved in the Olympic buzz in the run-up to the games next summer.

Organisers hope the project will give the town a boost as a growing hub for sports and activities, with many of the area’s clubs already home to individual sporting talents.

Ribble Valley’s activity development officer, Angela Harrison, said: “Longridge has some fantastic sports clubs, great facilities and volunteers on its doorstep.

“This event is another way of introducing sports to the community, with a new dimension, free taster sessions for a cross-section of sports from archery, swimming and cycling all the way to dance.

“There’s planning to do but this will be a very special event with wide appeal.”

Olympic organisers are keen to encourage as many mass participation events as possible ahead of the games, and are helping to host special events as part of the London 2012 ‘Inspire’ programme.

Angela added: “We are trying to engage as many people as possible – the idea is to give people easy access to sports.

“It is going to be a real joint effort, and has the potential to be a spectacular event.”

The event will start on July 13, and a meeting is taking place this week to draw up final plans, with more information unveiled over the coming weeks.

The project follows the official release of the Olympic