Children To Get Free Tickets To London 2012 Games

Mayor of London underwrites purchase of a further 75,000 tickets

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Mayor of London, Boris Johnson announced that he will more than double the number of free tickets available for London’s school children to watch the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Over 120,000 tickets will now be available ensuring that one in eight London school children, aged 10 to 18, will have the chance to see the world’s greatest athletes competing at the world’s greatest sporting event.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has already made 50,000 tickets available to London schools; funded through a levy on the prestige hospitality tickets. However, to ensure that as many young Londoners as possible, can share the excitement and experience of London 2012, the Mayor has agreed to underwrite the purchase of a further 75,000 tickets whilst he seeks commercial sponsorship. This will give even more young people the chance to see a huge range of events during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

To be eligible for these tickets schools must be part of LOCOG’s ‘Get Set’ Education programme which aims to maximise children and young people’s awareness of, and engagement with, the Games. Nearly 60 per cent of London schools are currently signed up to the programme and it is expected that the ticket offer will help boost participation of schools in Get Set to near 100 per cent.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “One of the greatest legacies we can lever from the London Games is to see young people in the capital embrace the Olympic and Paralympic values and motivate them towards sporting and academic achievement. Through the Get Set programme hundreds of thousands of young people have already made London 2012 their games, been inspired by sport and raised their aspirations across the full range of their ambitions. Having invested so much I want all Londoners to have a real sense that these are their Games too. So it is right that, through this scheme, we can acknowledge their support by rewarding thousands of London kids with the unique opportunity to be part of this amazing sporting spectacle.

“Securing these tickets enables me to reach out to many more young Londoners than I could ever have imagined. I am confident that this will be a tremendous success and hope it becomes a blueprint for future host cities to engage their young people in the wonderful opportunities that the Games offer when they roll into town.”

LOCOG Chairman, Sebastian Coe, said: “Young people across London are already joining in through the Get Set Network. Using the power of the Games to inspire young people was a key part of the bid to win the Games and what better way to inspire the next generation than watching world class athletes compete in their home city. I’m delighted that the Mayor is supporting the London 2012 Ticketshare scheme in this way.”

It will be for London schools to decide exactly how to distribute the tickets among their pupils. However, LOCOG and the Greater London Authority will work with Get Set schools to devise initiatives whereby academic, sporting or other achievements can be rewarded. Both organisations will also work with schools to ensure that those pupils who receive tickets are encouraged to strive towards their personal best and demonstrate their understanding of the Olympic and Paralympic values in doing so.

October 19, 2010