International Inspiration was London 2012’s sports legacy programme, which we delivered in partnership with UNICEF, UK Sport, Youth Sport Trust and the charity International Inspiration (IN).  It was developed from Lord Coe’s promise in 2005 to inspire a generation and was the first programme of its kind conceived and implemented by a host city.

The International Inspiration programme came to a formal end in March 2014, but the success of the programme and the continuing work of the UK partners involved in sport for development has meant that it will continue to have an impact for years to come.

International Inspiration worked on three levels: with policymakers, practitioners and directly with children and young people.  We supported policy makers with national policies that promote physical education (PE) and sport in schools. Teachers and coaches in the UK and around the world received the skills and access to training resources to make PE lessons more meaningful, innovative and exciting for young people. And as a result of the programme, more young people are taking part in PE and sport, enabling them to develop new skills and fulfil their potential.

From the beginning in 2007 the target was to take International Inspiration to 20 countries and inspire the lives of 12 million children. The programme far exceeded that target, with over 25 million children and young people enriched through the programme. 55 national policies, strategies and legislative changes were influenced and over 250,000 practitioners (teachers, coaches and leaders) trained.

We linked 590 schools in the UK and around the world through International Inspiration, creating school partnerships that focused on the use of PE and sport in schools to achieve positive outcomes for pupils and young people in the wider community.  

International Inspiration took place in 21 countries (including the UK): Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, UK and Zambia. 

The International Inspiration programme may have come to a formal end, but through the success of the programme around the world we have created a new vision of how sport can be used as part of education.  That vision was delivered on the ground, in a very practical way, in 21 countries. We are inspired to build on it, working in partnership to create more international trust and opportunity through sport, education and culture.

International Inspiration school partnerships

Through our International Inspiration school partnerships we have challenged children, their parents and teachers, to look beyond their own borders, share their knowledge and experience, and learn from different cultures.

Teachers and schoolchildren have built friendships across thousands of miles, working together on exciting joint projects to learn new skills and find creative ways to use sport to benefit their school and the wider community.

“The links we have made with our partner school in Brazil have been fantastic – integrating children with impairments into school through sport is a massive undertaking, but this is now taking shape.” (Jackie, Teacher, St Giles School)

One result of the schools partnerships has been the creation of a traditional games resource. Schools were asked to share traditional games from their home country and these were compiled into a free resource that anybody can use. The resource is made up of a set of illustrated cards, explaining how each game is played. Download the traditional games resources below.


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