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27 March 2012 - Karamoja girl to carry Olympic torch

© UNICEF Uganda

Kampala, Uganda 27, March, 2012: Catherine Lometo from Lokopo, Moroto District, in Uganda has been given the opportunity of a lifetime to run with the Olympic Torch as a result of her involvement in London 2012’s international sports legacy programme, International Inspiration.

She is amongst a group of 20 young people involved in International Inspiration who will take part in the Olympic Torch Relay in Nottingham in the UK on 28 June.

There will be one Torchbearer coming from each of the 20 countries which are part of International Inspiration, from Azerbaijan to Zambia. Each International Inspiration Torchbearer was nominated and selected either for their dedication and commitment to inspiring children and young people in their communities through the power of sport or for the personal challenges they have overcome in their lives.

Catherine was nominated by Mr. Martin Lule, the Deputy Head Teacher of her school, Nalinya Lwantale Girls Secondary School because she demonstrated an aspiration to train harder in the field of athletics, specialising in the 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 marathon disciplines. Catherine is a role model to girls in her school and by example has encouraged girls to join sports. Also on several occasions Catherine been asked by the head girl - leader of the student’s body - to talk to the students about the health benefits of joining sports.

“I started participating in sports at Primary Five level in 2008 my sports teacher encouraged me to compete in sports events at district level. When I excelled my sports teacher then trained me to specifically participate in the 5000 meters race which I won. At this point, a coach was identified to help me improve my talent in preparation for the International completion in Sudan in 2010 where I ran the 10,000 meter race and ended sixth while I was second in the 1,500 meter race.

I love participating in long races such as the 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters, and 10,000 meters because the training I have undergone allows me to be disciplined and always strive to finish the race. Running the marathon has also inspired me to train harder so that one day, I can win a gold medal like Uganda’s Double Gold Medalist, Moses Kipsiro,” Catherine states.

International Inspiration is bringing to life the promise made by the London 2012 bid team where they pledged 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. The programme is delivered around the world by a unique partnership of organisations including the British Council, UNICEF UK and UK Sport.

International Inspiration is enriching the lives of more than 12 million children in 20 countries around the world through high-quality and inclusive physical education, sport and play. The programme is currently helping change the lives of over 12 million young people.

Catherine said: When I was in primary school, my dream was to become a nurse but this has since changed. After enjoying the experience practising and running the marathon, I would love to become a sports coach in athletics and train the future generation of Ugandan youth to achieve their sports dreams.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) said: “I’m thrilled that young people from around the world will also get the chance to run with the Olympic Flame. Catherine has been a real inspiration in his/her community and truly demonstrates how sport can change someone’s life. Catherine's story is truly inspirational.”
- Ends -

Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact;
Emmi Pakkala, Education Specialist, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Plot 9 George Street, Kampala, Uganda, Phone: +256 417 171 000, Fax: +256 414 235 660,

About International Inspiration
The International Inspiration programme is governed by an independent charitable foundation. International Inspiration is supported and funded by a mixture of organisations and Foundations, including Department for International Development (DFID), the British Council, the Premier League, UNICEF, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Comic Relief, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the GE Foundation and individual donors. The programme is also supported by the Youth Sport Trust, the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association and individual donors.

To enable longer-term impact, the programme is developed jointly with the governments, National Olympic Committees and National Paralympic Committees, where appropriate, of participating countries. The programme is supported and welcomed by the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee.

The vision of International Inspiration is to use the power of sport to enrich the lives of millions of children and young people of all abilities in schools and communities across the world, particularly developing countries, by offering them the opportunity to access and participate in high-quality and inclusive sport, physical education and play. The programme is already changing the lives of young people in twenty countries - Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Zambia - and has already enriched the lives of over 12 million children and young people.

International Inspiration was developed as a result of the commitment made by the London Bid team in Singapore in 2005 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’.

The school partnerships are managed by the British Council, which has long experience of linking schools internationally, working in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, which utilises its expertise in developing teachers and young leaders through sport.



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