Following the success of the Dare To Believe Festivals in 2016 and 2018, Allianz in the UK is working with the Youth Sport Trust to launch the MoveNow Festivals for 2024. Aimed at secondary school children, the 20 inclusive festivals will introduce them to Olympic and Paralympic sports in a fun and relaxed environment.
Each Festival will be run by Youth Sport Trust Athlete Mentors, Young Leaders and Allianz volunteers with the opportunity to try non-traditional sports and activities at local aspirational facilities. The launch event took place at the Lee Valley Athletics centre in London on the 29th January for over 100 children, with the next Festivals scheduled for Birmingham in February and Bristol, Milton Keynes, Manchester and Guildford in March. The remaining Festivals are scheduled throughout the year in locations ranging from Bournemouth to Glasgow and are located to give as many children as possible the opportunity to take part, while enabling Allianz employees to support their communities through volunteering at the events.
Speaking at the launch event, Emily Reynolds, National Programmes Director at the Youth Sport Trust said:
“It was fantastic to be at the launch of the MoveNow festivals today in London alongside our Athlete Mentors, Young Leaders and volunteers from Allianz. The Youth Sport Trust passionately believes improving children and young people’s wellbeing is a national priority and it’s so important to offer young people the opportunity to try out new sports and help them to understand the benefits of a physically active lifestyle.
The Youth Sport Trust empowers young people to lead, and it was fantastic to see the Young Leaders engaging with and briefing the volunteers from Allianz in the activities they would be leading. Watching the Young Leaders work to understand what young people with special educational needs and disabilities can do before deciding what they couldn’t do, and then adapting the activities to ensure all the participants could engage meaningfully was really powerful, and a challenge to us all.
"Harnessing the power of sport and play is vital, and we’re grateful for the support of everyone at Allianz for enabling us to inspire over 2,000 children to get active at the 20 festivals planned between now and the start of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer.”
Shanil Williams, Allianz Commercial Board Member commented: “It was a wonderful day for everyone involved seeing the power of fun and sports come together. The Olympic and Paralympic values are about building belonging, resilience and a mindset to be the best you can. This is something close to our heart at Allianz as partners of the games but also as an organisation, and to see so many of our employees choose to use their volunteering hours for the Festivals is really great as it shows how sport brings people together.”
Colm Holms, CEO of Allianz UK, added: “I hope all of the children who take part in our Move Now Festivals over the coming months have a really enjoyable time and that it sparks an interest in the different sports included, and maybe even a future athlete or two. Inclusion is very important to us at Allianz so we’re delighted to partner with Youth Sport Trust to make these events as inclusive as possible and spotlight a range of sports to everyone taking part as we countdown to the Olympic and Paralympic games in Paris later this year.”
Harnessing the power of sport and play is vital, and we’re grateful for the support of everyone at Allianz for enabling us to inspire over 2,000 children to get active.