The concept is simple - bring your community together for a celebration with sports and arts activities and a simple opening or closing ceremony. Whilst the initial inspiration was the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the programme has also helped to generate a positive community legacy from HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Commonwealth Games and other major events, as well as providing a catalyst for local community action.
At its heart the programme helps to get families and communities more active. It also creates many other beneficial outcomes - encouraging volunteering, engaging communities, building local partnerships and improving health.
The Community Games Programme continues to be delivered across the country dispute no extra central resource since 2014.
Over 4,300 games have now been held since the programme began in 2012. Supported by an estimated 91,000 volunteers. Involving an estimated 3.04 million participants.
Some of these events are in their third year and are now a part of the annual calendar with support from clubs, schools and community organisations. The Games also went international with the first Australian Community Games being held in Heathcote, which has inspired this local community to work with the City of Bendigo in Victoria, to encourage surrounding communities to stage their own events.
A Community Games Activation pilot project, funded by Sport England, involved eight events. Its key findings demonstrated local community multi activity and cultural events are effective vehicles for engaging local residents. Importantly, there is evidence to show changes in positive attitudes and intentions of those who attend these events are being converted into action with more people doing more activity on a regular basis.
To find out more about Community Games and how you can bring your neighbourhood together visit www.communitygames.org.uk