London 2012's International Inspiration programme has been awarded the J.A Samaranch Trophy for the most innovative sports-based project, at the Global Sports Forum in Barcelona.
Sir Keith Mills, London 2012 Organising Committee Deputy Chair and Chair of the II Foundation, collected the Trophy, with the winning project being judged on its innovative approach, impact and sustainability.
International Inspiration is London 2012's international sports legacy programme and 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 the British Council, UNICEF UK and UK Sport.
The programme has enriched the lives of more than 12 million children and young people in 20 countries around the world by inspiring and enabling them to participate in high-quality and inclusive physical education, sport and play.
Among the specific achievements of the programme to date, those that were highlighted included more than 150,000 children in Bangladesh survival swimming skills in a country where around 17,000 children drown every year, and using sport to education more than 1.5 million young people in Zambia about issues such as HIV and AIDS.
Keith Mills, Chair of the II Foundation said:
I'm thrilled and very proud to have received this award on behalf of the International Inspiration team. When we bid for the Games back in 2005, we said we were committed to transforming the lives of children and young people around the world through the power of sport. International Inspiration is the result of that promise and is helping us leave a lasting legacy, years after the London 2012 Games have finished.
London 2012 Organising Committee Chair Seb Coe was also present at the Global Sports Forum to take part in a question and answer session about the London 2012 Games with leading journalists Alan Abrahamson.
Having achieved its target of reaching 12 million children a year ahead of schedule in July 2011, International Inspiration will now focus on ensuring that initiatives are sustainable and will leave a legacy in all these countries beyond 2012.