Sunderland will meddle in the 2012 Olympics

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe holds aloft the Olympic Flame.
London 2012 chairman Lord Coe holds aloft the Olympic Flame.
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EXCITING plans are being drawn up to ensure that the 2012 Olympics in London will have a lasting impact on “every aspect of life in Sunderland”.

It is hoped the positive effects of the Games can be harnessed to help benefit the city.

Sunderland City Council are looking to put together a wide-ranging plan that involves events and activities that build up to and last beyond the summer of 2012.

A number of ideas are currently being considered.

To help get Wearsiders engaged in the event an association between the five coloured Olympic rings and five areas of regeneration within the city has been suggested.

Secondly, a series of “city challenges” is being discussed where Wearsiders will be encouraged to work together and reach a number of targets. This could involve being part of a world record attempt, recruiting new volunteers for the games or a 550 mile swim, the distance from Sunderland to the Olympic Aquatic Centre.

The council has also drawn up a list of positive outcomes it hopes the plan will achieve as part of the programme.

These include increasing the levels of participation in sport, raising the number of volunteers in the city, inspiring children and young people and championing the city’s heritage and culture.

Other possible events include taster sessions in new sports and activities, heritage open days and festivals, as well as big screens being erected at Herrington Country Park

Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The Olympics is the biggest sporting event to come to this country and in Sunderland it’s a fantastic opportunity to be involved in something which will be talked about for generations to come.

“We are finalising exciting plans to celebrate the games and to create a sporting and cultural legacy which will benefit the people of Sunderland for years to come.

“This programme of events and activities will be launched in January.”

Wearside’s biggest hope for achieving Olympic glory could be 25-year-old Kat Driscoll, who is world number one in women’s trampolining.

Just last month Kat helped Great Britain secure a place at the 2012 Games by finishing 7th at World Championship event in Birmingham.

Twitter: @tomwhite7