By Andrew Holt

Millions of people will be able to come together to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in their local communities at one of over 2000 games being held across the UK, thanks to a £2 million Big Society fund, minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said today.

The Community Games programme will provide support and resources for communities to organise their own local sporting and cultural events in celebration of the London 2012 Games.

The events will be anything from a triathlon or a sponsored walk to a live concert, and will reflect the interests and needs of the local community.

Community Games was the brainchild of Legacy UK, a charity whose role is to create lasting impact from the Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK.

The Community Games programme will provide support and resources which includes a national accredited training and mentoring programme, designed to create a lasting legacy of community volunteers with the skills and confidence to activate social change.

Local people will have the opportunity to get involved in Community Games in a number of different ways.

They could become a Community Games organiser responsible for developing and implementing a Community Games event, they could volunteer to help out at an event, they could participate in the events activities, or they could just simply come along, have fun and enjoy the event as a spectator with friends and family.

Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, said: “We want everyone to get involved and celebrate the London 2012 Games coming to the UK and this is why we have awarded Community Games £2 million.

"Community Games will provide the help and support people need to organise a run, a triathlon or even a dance contest display in their local area this summer. This is all part of our drive to create a bigger stronger society where people are empowered to make a difference to their community.”

Moira Swinbank, chief executive of Legacy Trust UK, added: “Legacy Trust UK is all about securing a legacy from London 2012 in communities’ right across the UK, and what better way to do this than through Community Games?

"We’re delighted that the potential of this regional programme has been recognised, and look forward to working with the County Sports Partnership Network and the YMCA to bring a taste of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to millions of people throughout England.”

The award also heralds the creation of a new partnership between the County Sports Partnership Network (CSPN) and the YMCA to run the England-wide Community Games programme.

The collaboration will benefit from the CSPN’s expertise in promoting physical activity participation at a local level, coupled with the YMCA’s 166 years of experience of helping to build positive futures for young people and communities.

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