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Sport is on the agenda in Bangladesh through London Olympics 2012 programme

1 million children to benefit from quality sports activities by 2012

Dhaka, 15 May 2009. International Inspiration, a project that forms part of the legacy programme of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, will be formally launched in Bangladesh today, Friday, 15 May 2009 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between the Governments of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the launching ceremony.

Honourable Minister for Education and Primary & Mass Education Mr Nurul Islam Nahid MP and the State Minister for Youth and Sports Mr Ahad Ali Sarker M.P will be present at the signing ceremony together with H.E Mr Stephen Evans, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh.

‘International Inspiration’ implemented jointly by British Council, UK Sport and UNICEF together with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs in Bangladesh, aims to deliver on the promise made by the London 2012 Olympic bid team in Singapore to inspire young people around the world through the power of sport. It aims to create sustainable structures and systems in 20 countries, enabling at least 12 million young people to access sport and improve their lives as a result. In Bangladesh, the implementing partners have a target of 1 million children to be reached by the project by the end of 2012.

As part of the initiation of the project, 41 UK secondary school teachers are currently visiting their 20 partner schools for a week in Bangladesh under the international school link programme. They will be travelling to different government schools and madrassahs, selected by a National Steering Committee under the leadership of the Secretary, Ministry of Youth & Sports, to share their ideas. They will also develop joint activity plans to further student development together through physical education and sport.

Training courses on Youth Sport Leadership and Young Leaders are also being delivered this week for 8 local tutors and 32 young people from 4 schools. The young leaders will organise a festival at Dhanmondi Women’s sports complex on Saturday 16 May 2009 at 10am to showcase the valuable sports initiatives they have experienced which they will deliver in their schools and communities. In the next phase of the project the remaining 16 Bangladeshi schools will also benefit from Youth Sport Leadership training through which they will eventually reach 100,000 young children in their local schools and communities.

Through International Inspiration, 200,000 children aged 4 to 10 will learn swimming as a means to save life from drowning - 28% of all deaths among children above the age of one in Bangladesh are due to drowning. Swimming lessons will take place at community level and will be conducted by adolescent and community coaches.
Through the project more than 12,500 adolescents will be trained as leaders to carry out sports activities for their peers in their communities. Sport will also be used as a tool for life skills, such as communication, negotiation or decision making. Through sports activities, awareness will be created on major issues which adolescents are facing such as early marriage, dowry, HIV and AIDS, hygiene, abuse and exploitation. Special attention will be given to ensure equal access to sports and play to girls and boys in order to address gender disparities.

International Inspiration provides the opportunity to schools and institutions in Bangladesh to use the power of the Olympic Games to motivate, inspire and transform the lives of young people.

For more information on the International Inspiration programme visit:

For media enquiries, please contact:

Nazzina Mohsin
Project Officer, International Inspiration
British Council
Tel:  8618905, 01730098667

Christine Jaulmes
Chief, Communication and Information Section
UNICEF Bangladesh
Tel: 9336701, 01713043478

Editor’s notes

International Inspiration is a programme which aims to use the power of sport to transform the lives of millions of children and young people of all abilities, in schools and communities across the world, particularly in developing countries, through the power of high quality and inclusive physical education, sport and play.
Delivering the ambitions promised by the London bid team in Singapore, the programme aims to ‘reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport.’

Already making a difference to young people’s lives, with £9 million of funding, projects have started in 2008 in five pilot countries: Azerbaijan, Brazil, India, Palau and Zambia.  Five more countries, including Bangladesh, and £16 million more funding has been committed and the aspiration is to reach 12 million children in 20 countries by 2012.

International Inspiration has received the formal support of the International Olympic Committee as an international legacy programme for the London 2012 Games.

Delivery is led by UK Sport, in partnership with the British Council and UNICEF UK, and aims to reach 12 million children in 20 countries by the time of the London Games.  The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Premier League are key partners providing funding and other support, and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the British Olympic Foundation are also central to the programme, with International Inspiration forming a core strand of London 2012’s international education programme.  The delivery of International Inspiration in each country is also supported with specific expertise from the Youth Sport Trust and by organisations such as Right to Play and the local National Olympic Committees and National Paralympic Committees.

The British Council works in 110 countries and territories worldwide to build intercultural understanding between the UK and other countries through the arts, education and training, science and technology, sport, good governance and human rights. Our income in 2006/07 was £551m, of which grant-in-aid from the British government was £195m. For more information, please visit:

The Youth Sport Trust is a charitable organisation established in 1994. Its mission is to build a brighter future for young people by enhancing the quality of their physical education (PE) and sporting opportunities.
For more information visit

UK Sport works in partnership with organisations and agencies in the UK and across the world, using the influence that sport has in order to help assist countries to make use of the power of sport as a tool for human and social development.
For more information visit

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information visit



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